Surviving: The Reality of Sexual Assault

Surviving: The Reality of Sexual Assault

By:
09/16/2010

In the week before her spring semester finals in 2009, Helen*, a senior, got a call from her ex-boyfriend asking if he could come down for a visit that weekend. He was a Georgetown alum who made frequent visits to D.C. to see friends who were still living in the area, so it wasn’t unusual for him to call her or make the long drive into the District. Helen said she would be happy to meet up with him, and she began to look forward to their visit.

That weekend, the two went to The Tombs. They ordered a round of drinks and caught up with one another. They ordered a second round. And except for a few, fleeting recollections of negotiating Georgetown’s cobblestone sidewalks and fumbling to unlock the door to her house, that is where Helen’s memory of that night ends. The next morning, she woke up naked from the waist down next to her ex-boyfriend, who was in his boxers. From the waist up, she was still dressed exactly as she had been the night before.

Her ex-boyfriend—her friend—had raped her.

“What happened last night?” she asked him. “Why am I half naked?”

“Well,” he said, “when we got back from Tombs last night, you really wanted to have sex. And so we had sex. And it was great.”

She was silent. She couldn’t remember otherwise, and she didn’t know what to say. She took a shower, and when he cheerily invited her to lunch, she went with him. It wasn’t until she called a friend from high school, who told her that what happened to her was rape, that she was able to bring herself to use that word.

Helen belongs to a group of women that you have probably heard about before—she’s “one in four.” The phrase refers to the approximate number of Georgetown women who are sexually assaulted before they graduate—in most cases, at the hands of someone they know, often in a setting where they feel safe. That number, which is based on statistics from the University departments that work with victims and from anonymous surveys, is on par with statistics at colleges and universities nationwide. But without having heard a story like Helen’s, the number can be hard to fathom. It can even be hard to believe. Few people realize that sexual assault is commonplace at Georgetown until they find out that they know a woman who was assaulted or raped by an acquaintance, a mutual friend, or someone whom she once trusted. Or, as in my case, until they become a victim themselves.

Less than a year ago, another Georgetown student, a friend I had known since my freshman year, sexually assaulted me. We took a trip to another city, and after a night of bar hopping we shared a futon in the living room of his friend’s college dormitory, where he tried to hook up with me.

I didn’t want to, and he didn’t care. Soon, I was hitting him in the chest and telling him to stop touching me. When he did, I stayed awake as long as I could until I was certain that he was sleeping. Sometime later, I woke up because he had his hand in my underwear. I rolled onto my stomach and began to cry and plead with him to stop. He asked me what was wrong. I begged him to go to sleep and he did. The next morning, when we went to get sandwiches, he laughed as he told me that he had blacked out before we got to the second bar.

It took me a while to accept that I had become “one in four.” When I did, I could barely believe that this was how it had happened. My sexual assault did not look anything like I thought a sexual assault should. Until the moment I realized my friend was not going to stop kissing or touching me, there had been no signs that I needed to worry about my safety in his presence. So this summer, I interviewed former Georgetown students who had experienced rape and sexual assault for two reasons: I wanted to speak to women who could shed light on what “one in four” really looks like at Georgetown. And I wanted to see if their stories were anything like mine.

———

Like Helen, I felt soon after I was assaulted that something very wrong had happened to me, but I couldn’t articulate my feelings right away. Only when I told a mutual friend what had happened could I admit, days afterward and with her help, that our friend had sexually assaulted me. It would still take me months to accept how much this had affected me and begin to deal with it. In the meantime, I was miserable. I saw my attacker several times a week when I was with our other mutual friends. Sometimes, an unfortunate seating arrangement would force me to sit right beside him on our friend’s couch. I began to cry spontaneously in secret. But worst of all, because I was terrified of the consequences of revealing my assault to our other mutual friends, I felt utterly alone.

In the spring of this year, six months after I was assaulted, I admitted to myself that I needed to deal with it. I called Georgetown’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services and made an appointment to see a counselor.

Georgetown offers better services for victims of sexual assault than almost any other school of its size. The University employs a trauma specialist at CAPS who is better equipped than most college counselors to help assault victims. The Department of Public Safety staffs a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Team with officers who have additional training in responding to reports of sexual assault. Jen Schweer, the Sexual Assault and Health Issues Coordinator, does everything from counseling victims to helping them sort through their options, like taking time off from school or reporting the assault to DPS. Schweer has a paid, full-time position, which is very rare among mid-sized schools like Georgetown.

Victim resources, though, can only help those who proactively seek them out. For crimes like sexual assault and rape, Schweer said, many victims do not seek counseling or pursue legal options. Helen never saw a Georgetown counselor before she graduated, and neither of us reported our sexual assaults to authorities—predictable choices, since nationwide as well as at Georgetown, sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes. In 2009 and so far in 2010, DPS’s public crime logs record only four sexual assaults for each year.

In 2006, Amanda*, a sophomore, was one of five students who did report her sexual assault to DPS. Her roommate was out of town when her attacker, a male student she had known her freshman year, knocked on her door to wake her up at 4 a.m. She rejected his advances and he attacked her. As he tried to rape her, she struggled and repeatedly yelled “no.” Finally, she yelled, “You really need to leave now!” He hadn’t raped her, but there had been moments when she thought he was about to.

Amanda reported his crime to DPS within seven hours. But over the next few weeks, as she frequently saw her assailant in their shared dorm building, she couldn’t focus in class or on homework. She decided to take a leave of absence.

Amanda came back to campus for a hearing before the Judicial Hearing Board two months after she had reported her assault to DPS. It was nothing like she had expected. To her, the Board’s three student members and two faculty members—the same people who hear cases of academic dishonesty at Georgetown—seemed unprepared to discuss her case. Among other questions that she found insensitive, members asked her why she didn’t leave her room when he attacked her.

“Why didn’t I just leave? It was four in the morning. We were in my room. He was on top of me. We were in a corner,” Amanda said. “I understand they need to be relatively neutral, and anyone can make an accusation, but there is a more respectful way to handle this. … I felt attacked.”

In the end, the Board placed her assailant on probation and ordered him to write her a letter of apology. Feeling the University had betrayed her, she doubted that she would even return to Georgetown. While she was on leave, her parents learned that because her attacker had violated his probation, Georgetown would not re-enroll him the following semester, but the school would not say whether this meant that he could never come back to Georgetown. Ultimately, Amanda did decide to return to campus. But for several semesters after she returned, one of her parents called the school at the beginning of each semester to make sure that her attacker had not been allowed back on campus.

Amanda is not the first former student to criticize how the Judicial Hearing Board handles cases of sexual assault. When she adjudicated her case before the Board as a freshman, Kate Dieringer (NHS ‘05), who was drugged and raped by a friend’s New Student Orientation adviser just two weeks into her freshman year of college, faced questions like “Why were you with him?” and “Why did you know him?” In the Sept. 16, 2004 issue of the Voice, Dieringer said, “I’m always thinking about which was worse, being raped or the adjudication process.”

Judy Johnson, the director of the Office of Student Conduct, explained that because the Board presumes that the respondent is innocent, and the burden of proof is on the complainant in any kind of case the Board hears, the complainant and respondent do not start off on equal footing. The Board cannot ask leading questions, either, which can force them to ask seemingly insensitive questions like the ones Amanda faced.

“I’ve never had anyone come back and say the Board was not respectful,” Johnson said. “They may say that … the hearing was difficult, but not that they were unnecessarily intrusive. By [the allegation’s]very nature, the questions that have to be asked are sensitive, they’re awkward, and they’re in the context of someone who already feels violated.”

Meanwhile, Georgetown’s efforts to prevent rape and sexual assault are weak. The University’s messages about sexual assault usually involve telling students that they can protect themselves by locking their doors. Georgetown’s methods of educating students about sexual assault are so poor that last year, the Justice Department denied Georgetown’s application for a sexual assault education grant because Georgetown does not have an education program that reaches all of its students.

DPS and University officials are aware of how pervasive acquaintance rape and assault are at Georgetown, and there are conversations within the administration about how to prevent them. But pushing the University to broaden its public discussion of acquaintance rape and sexual assault at Georgetown has been difficult. Jared Watkins (COL ‘11), one of the founders of GU Men Creating Change, a campus group which works to prevent violence against women, has been part of a persistent effort to get Georgetown to adapt a mandatory sexual assault education program akin to AlcoholEdu. It would be harder for student attackers to get away with assaulting their peers, Watkins said, if students shared a more accurate idea of what most rapes and sexual assaults really look like. But no one in the administration seems ready to adapt such a program.

“There’s a lot of power politics behind how to make things mandatory,” Watkins said. “Somehow, they can make going to the Off Campus Student Life meeting mandatory, or you can’t register for spring classes. But we can’t make sexual assault education mandatory?”

Watkins said that he is not naïve enough to think that such a program will exist before he graduates from Georgetown this spring. More likely, he thinks, Georgetown will adapt one further in the future, maybe four or five years down the road.

———

Brigit McLaughlin (COL ‘10) is a rape survivor—not a victim. She told me this very clearly when I spoke to her on the phone this past July.

“I feel that I survived it,” she said. “I feel like for that year and a half I was a victim, but now I’m a survivor.”

Three weeks into her freshman year, McLaughlin went to a Village B party with a group of friends. One of her friends knew an upperclassman who lived there, and after drinking and dancing for a while, McLaughlin went back to one of the apartment residents’ bedrooms to hook up with him. She told him she was a virgin and did not want to do anything more than make out, which he said he was fine with. At one point he left the room, and she passed out on his bed. She woke up again when he was raping her.

For the next eighteen months, McLaughlin spiraled into a state of self-blame and depression. She became terrified of crowds and, despite her efforts to repress the memory, had flashbacks of that night whenever she saw her attacker, who was now dating a girl in her residence hall. Finally, inspired to process her assault and react to it positively by an ESCAPE leader who had had a similar experience, McLaughlin joined Take Back the Night, an awareness-raising group on campus, and spoke to victims at other schools about her experience. Slowly, she began to heal—a process that did not include confronting her attacker.

“It’s not like he’s going to say, ‘You know, you’re right, I’m sorry for ruining a year and a half of your life and changing who you are forever.’”

In the same vein, Amanda never received the apology letter that her attacker was ordered to write. Helen kept receiving friendly emails from her ex-boyfriend after he raped her. When she confronted him with what he had done and told him not to contact her again, she received a response that said, in effect, that he was sorry she felt that way about what happened but he’d had a great time.

I never confronted the person who sexually assaulted me at all. We never had a conversation about what he did. He and most of our mutual friends grew apart until I no longer had to see him.

But I don’t share McLaughlin’s enviable confidence that I have survived.

* Names have been changed to protect identities.


About Author

Molly Redden


38 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Surviving: The Reality of Sexual Assault”

  1. Brooke says:

    “Judy Johnson, the director of the Office of Student Conduct, explained that because the Board presumes that the respondent is innocent, and the burden of proof is on the complainant in any kind of case the Board hears, the complainant and respondent do not start off on equal footing.”

    This principal, of course, does not apply when the complainant is DPS.

    Great, evocative article.

  2. Ryan says:

    This was a great article. Much love to the Voice and Molly for tackling such an important issue.

  3. Jared Watkins says:

    Great feature Molly! Thanks for the time and effort that you obviously put into this. Anyone who is interested in getting more involved in preventing sexual assault and supporting survivors should attend R U Ready this year on September 30th at 7 PM in Copley Formal Lounge.

  4. Shruti says:

    This is an excellent article, Molly.

    Thank you for doing this — it’s much needed.
    At least I can do my part my directing my 100 freshman residents to read this.

  5. A Nice Guy says:

    Hi Molly,

    As what most people would consider a “nice guy”, there are some aspects of the content of this article that bother me.

    We are all aware of the hubbub that that article printed by the American University paper about a year or so ago that seemingly condoned rape, and I want to stress that the last thing I want to do is suggest that rape in any form is acceptable. With that being said, however, I am concerned by where you expect this article to leave men.

    I accept that sex or sexual activity without explicit consent from both parties can and will be classified as rape. In your article, though, it seems that Helen did give consent to her ex-boyfriend. Is the onus always on the man, then, to judge in a moment of passion whether or not his date is blacked out and that he must reject her obvious sexual advances? Especially if he is intoxicated himself? The tone of your story, obviously with the limited context of my simply have read your article, is accusatory towards the man, but his response of confusion at Helen’s change of mind the next day seems appropriate to me. Are you simply assuming that he is lying and that he actually physically forced sex on to her? Or that he did not take her feelings into account when proceeding to do what she clearly wanted to do with him? In either case, these implications show smatterings of sexism on your part.

    In the next case, your own personal story, which I know is deeply personal and painful for you, the situation seems reversed– the man is the one who is “blacked out” but still is somehow the one taking advantage of the female. He seems to be making the same types of advances towards you that Helen made towards her ex in the first story; the only difference in this case is that he is a man. From my vantage point, it seems as if you are saying that if either party is intoxicated before sexual activity, the man is guilty of rape. This is, of course, absurd on several levels, and I understand that you are not making such a hyperbolic statement, but your logic baffles me.

    I don’t want to seem like I am disputing yours or Helen’s accounts, and I am deeply sorry for what happened to you and especially how you felt afterwards, but I worry that the cries of “rape” that occur when a woman changes her mind after having sex, perhaps regretting an– albeit intoxicated– decision drowns out the voices of true victims of forced, violent sex that is conventionally understood as rape. And while I do not want to suggest that any of the stories you discuss are examples of this, it perhaps explains the painful adjucation process that you discuss, where people are not sure what a woman means when she claims that she was raped. Women can and do use a false accusation of rape in a variety of circumstances, whether to get back at a jilted lover, or to convince herself that a regrettable decision was in fact out of her hands, and these accusations often leave innocent men hung out to dry.

    I think discussions of rape must necessarily be a two-way street. Education of both men and women needs to improve, so that in addition to fewer women getting raped, fewer “nice guys” like myself get screwed when we engage in consensual sex after which the female decides to regret it. Only in this way can we move forward and identify and address cases of true rape so that people with emotionally, physically, and sexually horrifying experiences can actually get the attention and treatment they deserve.

    In either case, thanks for sharing your story, and for doing your part to spread awareness. I am just trying to do the same.

  6. Molly Redden says:

    @A Nice Guy,

    Apologies, I guess Helen’s story can be unclear.

    Because she blacked out after only two drinks, it was clear to her that her ex-boyfriend either gave her a date rape drug or spiked her drink with something like Everclear. It wasn’t rape because there was drinking involved, it was rape because he incapacitated her.

  7. Jared Watkins says:

    @A Nice Guy

    I appreciate you weighing in on this topic, but the fact is not that there is some overwhelming number of false rape reports that “drown out” real rapes, but quite the opposite. Rape is staggeringly under-reported due to all types of issues with one of the main reasons being this myth that rape reports are simply women regretting bad sex. The fact is that rape is a traumatic event, the aftereffects of rape are traumatic, and the process of reporting rape can be traumatic as well. There is no mistaking rape for regretful sex and anyone who knows anything about the process of reporting a rape would not use it to “get back at a jilted lover” as is so often spread as a common event (those exact words in fact).

    What’s most worrisome about your post is that it matches almost all internet “debate” on rape in that there are no links to verified studies about what many seem to think is a widespread phenomenon of false reports and even your anecdotal claims aren’t even about real people or people you know. Well, here’s a link: http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf Only about 2 to 8 percent of rape reports can be truly qualified as false (and just because a report is recanted does not make it false as the process of reporting turns many victims away). This percentage is similar to other violent crimes and is much higher than if one were to base it off of all rapes rather than reported rapes.

    This may be very hard to face for many nice guys out there, but 1 in 4 women they know have been sexually assaulted or have been the victim of attempted sexual assault. Not 1 in 4 have had bad sex or regretted having drunk sex or wanted to get back at a jilted lover. 1 in 4 of the women at Georgetown will have to face sexual situations that were forced upon them. This is a staggering reality which is far too easy to deny with myths, excuses, or just plain ignoring the problem. We men at Georgetown, we the nice guys, are better than this reality and we have to hold our classmates and ourselves responsible. Rape culture turns all men into objects of fear really fucks with the way men and women relate to each other. The only way to fight this and to reclaim our images as nice guys is to acknowledge the problem of sexual assault and to try to change the parts of our culture (and even the parts of our masculinity) which tell us that rape is not a problem or even okay. I apologize if this rant is a little harsh, but the myth of the false report really does discourage victims and survivors from telling their stories and allows us nice guys to bury the reality of sexual assault. The women in this story, and all women, can never bury that reality.

  8. Johanna says:

    @A Nice Guy:

    “In the next case, your own personal story, which I know is deeply personal and painful for you, the situation seems reversed– the man is the one who is “blacked out” but still is somehow the one taking advantage of the female.”

    In Molly’s account she clearly states that she hit him on the chest and repeatedly told him to stop touching her. Whether she or he was drunk is beyond the point — she clearly refused, and he ignored it. While it is certainly possible that a woman could take advantage of a man while he was drunk, but that isn’t what happened here. His drunkenness does not excuse his behavior, a crime committed while drunk is still a crime.

    “Women can and do use a false accusation of rape in a variety of circumstances, whether to get back at a jilted lover, or to convince herself that a regrettable decision was in fact out of her hands, and these accusations often leave innocent men hung out to dry.”

    Actually, I think it’s claims like this, which inflate the incidence of false rape accusations, which “drown out the voices” of rape victims by derailing the discussion. In fact, the number of rape accusations found to be false is less than 6%, which is on par with false accusations for most other types of crimes. I am not arguing that false accusations do not sometimes occur, but they are much rarer than you imply.

  9. Helen says:

    Nice Guy,

    At no point in the process did I ever consent. In fact, I had sent him an email a few days before we met up saying that I was interested in going out with him that night solely as a friend. No one blacks out after two drinks; I certainly never have before or since. I woke up that morning covered in bruises and scrapes, some of which I assume were from the cobblestones, but some of the bruises were suspiciously finger-shaped. I won’t go into further detail, but it was very, very obvious from the physical signs that at no point was I coherent enough or conscious enough to consent. He was not intoxicated in any way from what I can remember before I blacked out. Frankly, if he had been, I have no idea how I would have gotten home; at the time I lived a fairly long walk from Tombs.

    I didn’t file a police report because of people like you. “Oh, he’s her ex-boyfriend! Clearly they’ve has relations before! She was just regretful!” The trauma that I experienced and continue to experience was bad enough without getting outside forces involved. He was as “nice” a guy as they come; no one would ever have believed me. I couldn’t have ruined his reputation if I had tried.

  10. ECM says:

    Kudos for writing such a deeply personal article. This is a problem that deeply affects a large number of female students at every university, and frankly it needs to be stopped.

  11. Relieved says:

    Molly,

    I have never met you, but I feel like I can relate to you and your story. I have actually been sexually assaulted twice, the first time not even calling it for what it was as I made excuses for someone I had known very well for four years. It’s hard to talk about an issue like this and I’m glad to know there are definitely others out there.

  12. Jane Hoya says:

    I’m also one in four. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one on the Hilltop. Thank you Molly for being brave enough to write this.

  13. Thanks says:

    Thanks for writing this article! I wish this issue received more attention on campus, as rape affects so many women at Georgetown.

  14. Eileen says:

    Great article, and kudos to Molly for having written. I only wish you had been a bit more specific with Helen’s story, as while her comment here makes it very clear that she was assaulted, the story in the article is vague enough to be perceived as regretted drunken sex (don’t laugh; some of us ARE drunk after only a few) – something that technically does mean she was assaulted but isn’t nearly as compelling as her comment below.

    This is definitely a problem, though, and in some ways I think a problem for men guilty of nothing but being men as well as the women who have become victims. The prevalence of date-rape changes the way women look at their male friends, most of whom (I’d like to believe) are trustworthy and have no desire with a woman against her will. As long as stories like yours come out, though, it’s hard to trust even the “nice” guys.

    I also think that the sexual assault education at Georgetown is really pathetic. Everything I know about sexual assault and the laws governing consent come from high school health – and considering how awful my high school’s health program was, that’s saying something. My sister goes to Vassar, and according to her, students spend a large part of freshman orientation learning what sexual assault is and not to do it to anyone. Though I’ve been very happy at Georgetown and had (and have) no desire to attend any other university, I think we could do with borrowing a leaf from Vassar’s book here.

  15. Eileen says:

    *having written it.

  16. phira says:

    I found your article through a Google Reader article, and I wanted to let you know that it’s a fantastic article, and dead-on about sexual assaults, especially those on college campuses.

    I’m not part of the same one in four; I was assaulted as a young teenager at summer camp. But reading your story, and the stories of these three other women, really resonates with me, and I appreciate it so much.

    And to this ironically named \Nice Guy,\ if you’re going to repeat the tired old victim-blaming arguments that have already been debunked a million times, you should try harder to sound original …

  17. Mimi says:

    Dear Nice Guys,

    YES! The onus is on you to make sure you have clear permission to have sex with another human being. Otherwise you’re saying your sexual gratification is more important than another human being’s health and safety. And if you’re really saying that? You’re not a nice guy. You’re a turd.

  18. A Gtown Senior Survivor says:

    I am a Gtown Senior and I’m a sexual assault survivor. Rape once and sexual assault another time.

    It lifted my spirit to read this article and hear about other women coming forward and sharing their stories publicly. Reading this makes me feel like I’m not alone.

    There are many survivors on campus and we are in your classes, in your dorms, your coworkers, and your clubs but you probably would never guess that we are survivors and often times we don’t even realize other people we know are survivors too.

    Thanks for bringing attention to these stories that our community all to often tries to pretend that “these things don’t happen a lot and especially not to people we know”.

  19. Meg says:

    @Mimi

    Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Thank you for reminding everyone. When did people forget that consent is ALWAYS NECESSARY for sexual activity?

  20. Matari says:

    Good article – and some interesting comments. I think for me the overriding need is to initiate compulsory programs which address exactly what constitutes sexual assault so everyone – male and female – are clear about what is acceptable and what is not. Once that is established, it will also be very clear when these boundaries are breached which should make prosecution much easier.

  21. thetirvine says:

    I support this article in full and want to stand out as, hopefully, an actual “nice” guy and say thank you for writing it and promoting positive dialogue about a terribly closed subject.

    I’d just like to say, and this is especially directed @A “Nice” Guy, that systemically men/males have ridiculously huge amounts of power over women/females, and that of course in some cases, like rape, the burden of responsibility is skewed toward men/males. This is not necessarily on a personal every day level but most definitely necessary on a systematic level.

    “…you’re saying your sexual gratification is more important than another human being’s health and safety.”

    THAT is the real issue, one all too prevalent in current day society and perpetuated by a vast number of men. The issue is not revenge or sneaky agendas or other bull-shit spoken by apologists and victim-blamers; unless revenge and sneaky agendas belong to apologists and victim-blamers.

  22. Kristina says:

    Thanks so much for writing this. My experience was extremely similar to Brigit’s. It’s nice not to feel so alone anymore. Thank you.

  23. Confessional says:

    I’m a woman who’s been out of college for a few years and I appreciate this article because certainly this type of stuff is extremely rampant — both in college and out of college.

    But I also don’t think everyone should be jumping down the throat of “Nice Guy” so quick. While I disagree with a few points in his post, he is raising valid questions and I think he is right to ask where the “onus” lies in situations where both parties are drunk. The line between rape and drunk/regretful sex can be very blurry in these scenarios and I think women need to acknowledge that in order to open up a candid, realistic dialogue about these matters.

    In my own case, nothing’s ever blatantly crossed the line, going past a point where I said “No.” But I have to admit that there’s been a couple times when I’ve had sex when both me and my partner were very drunk. In those situations it’s really hard to know where my responsibility ends and his begins. Should he have assume, even if I go back to his place with him and start kissing him and take off his shirt, that he shouldn’t have sex with me simply because we’re both shitfaced? I know that I’m responsible for my actions, including getting myself to that level of drunkenness. Next-morning regrets cannot erase that responsibility.

    I’m not comparing this to the situations described in the article. I’m asking everyone to recognize that there is a real gray area here and yes, it usually involves a lot of alcohol. This is exactly why education about rape and sexual assault is so important, and why it absolutely needs to relate to education about alcohol abuse.

  24. Hoya Alum says:

    I was sexually assaulted my junior year at Georgetown and never told anyone. For many years I convinced myself the sex was consensual even though I, like you, was blacked out and woke up to my attacker having sex with me. I knew the guy because we volunteered together; he was a highly respected senior with many more friends and connections than me, a new transfer to Georgetown. Although I was very active with Take Back the Night while at Georgetown, I still couldn’t identify as a sexual assault survivor. I never sought medical attention and never notified any authorities. Thank you for writing this article and telling the story many of us are afraid to vocalize.

  25. Kirsten says:

    I’m not a Georgetown student, but I am a recent college grad and rape survivor. Thank you for printing this article; it’s truly a must read. On behalf of the University of Virgina’s Sexual Assault Peer Advocacy chapter, we appreciate you telling the side of the story that no one wants to read.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I appreciate the ladies of this article coming forward, knowing full well that they’d read the usual Devil’s Advocate comments. Thanks to everyone else who came forward with their experience–this makes it clear to all school officials just how relevant college programming is.

  27. L says:

    This is an extremely informative and well-written article that accurately depicts this horrific problem that is going on around campuses nationwide. God bless anybody who is in “1 of the 4”.

  28. Anne Musica says:

    Thank you for sharing your story about such an important issue, Molly. I really admire you, and Jared, for speaking out.

    @A Nice Guy: To echo what everyone else has said, rape is about power, not sex. Both women AND men are raped, and it is NEVER acceptable. Rape and regretting a one night stand are VERY different. You can tell by how you feel afterward. A one night stand might make you feel a bit ashamed, but it rarely ruins your entire life. And for you to even suggest such a thing makes you not a nice guy, just fyi.

  29. junior_survivor says:

    “And to this ironically named \Nice Guy,\ if you’re going to repeat the tired old victim-blaming arguments that have already been debunked a million times, you should try harder to sound original …”

    -I completely agree with this comment.
    For a self-proclaimed Nice Guy you don’t seem all too nice and you definitely don’t seem like you know anything about sexual assault. Place the name of a female that you love in one of those brave women’s stories and tell me that it is not rape.

  30. senior survivor says:

    I was raped during a summer program before my freshmen year at gtown by a basketball player who was a freshmen in 2010-2011. It took me a long time to come to terms with what actually happened to me. even though I knew the cards were stacked against me I still reported my rape to the office of student conduct almost three years later. they found him not responsible. while I do not regret going through the process, I sure agree with some of what is said in the article. the odds are against a person who reports. I’m sure they were even more so for me since he was a basketball player. there seems to be a real issue with the system. if any survivors decide to report their assault you should definitely seek legal counsel. the Network for Victim Recovery in DC does free legal counseling and is absolutely great. ignore Ms. Johnson and get a lawyer as your advisor. Ms. Johnson is looking out for the school not the victim.

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