A Survivors Response to A Rape on Campus – Rolling Stone

Text from Elissa

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:

  1. Individuals using normal behaviors to mask their ill intentions resulting in betrayed trust and violation.
  2. The social price of reporting. Close friends seeing the victims going public as tantamount to group betrayal.
  3. Doubting victims, brushing the incident off, leaving the victim feeling isolated and misunderstood.
  4. Comments from others blaming the victim for potentially putting a school or organization in a bad light.
  5. Leaders who are less concerned with protecting victims than it is with protecting its reputation from scandal.
  6. Emphasis on organization or agency honor yet prestige is their downfall.
  7. “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.
  8. 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.
  9. Backlash, especially from those who felt the victims loyalty was broken or those who identified with or commiserated the perpetrator.
  10. 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


One of Us: Book Intro

One of Us: Book Cover by Erika Bilbo

Sexual exploitation knows no bounds. Its injustices do not happen to specific people, committed by one type of assailant, with precise variables leading to the same crime.  Sexual predators may use a demeanor that gets them close to their victims that goes unnoticed by others.  Individuals we would never label by their appearance traumatize our friends and members of our families.   While a few of these perpetrators are being held accountable, the majority are not.  This is not a women’s issue that only affects females. Men have also come forward with stories of abuse.  The impact of sexual assault goes beyond the primary victim to impact those around them.   This is a human rights violation that we have the power to stop.
Continue reading