Jarring were the words written in the article titled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA”. I had to take breaks between the photos so my mind could process the reality these individuals lived through. Below are the top ten themes that stuck in my mind as the article kept going and my heart grew dejected:
- Individuals using normal behaviors to mask their ill intentions resulting in betrayed trust and violation.
- The social price of reporting. Close friends seeing the victims going public as tantamount to group betrayal.
- Doubting victims, brushing the incident off, leaving the victim feeling isolated and misunderstood.
- Comments from others blaming the victim for potentially putting a school or organization in a bad light.
- Leaders who are less concerned with protecting victims than it is with protecting its reputation from scandal.
- Emphasis on organization or agency honor yet prestige is their downfall.
- “Compelling and believable” story of the victim’s reality yet betrayal once again by individuals in the justice system that portrayed itself as victim centered.
- Survivor resilience through the difficulties in hope to protect others… only to find out they aren’t the first victim and probably won’t be the last.
- Backlash, especially from those who felt the victims loyalty was broken or those who identified with or commiserated the perpetrator.
- At the end of the day, everyone is outraged. Outraged for different reasons.
Reading the comments that followed the article, some people chose to focus on UVA as a problem campus, a party school, or the Greek life. Some chose to look at the Sexual Assault Misconduct on college campuses and how that attempt at justice is failing. To me, this is a much larger problem, a cultural issue. Continue reading