Due to the personal and private nature of this piece, the Editor of The College Reporter is protecting the author’s anonymity. Naming victims of sexual assault or publishing anything that makes them clearly identifiable without their explicit permission would also violate The College Reporter’s policy regarding sexual assault victim privacy. If you have questions about the piece or would like to respond journalistically via ‘letter to the editor’ please do so by contacting The Editors at The College Reporter at reporter@fandm.edu.

A few weeks ago, a student was assaulted near Brooks College House by a known sexual predator. In response to this assault, DPS took the opportunity to attempt to open a discussion with students about this issue. The only outcome of this meeting, however, has been to provide more lighting and extra video cameras around the school. Sounds great…sounds “safe.” 

This solution, however, is seriously problematic. Our society depicts rape as a violently painful act committed by an unknown man with a gun in a dark ally. i was raped on this campus by my friend. someone i trusted, someone I cared about, and someone who “cared” about me.

I was raped on this campus by a student of F&M. I couldn’t even acknowledge it until MONTHS later when someone mentioned in passing rape can occur between people who know each other. I blamed myself. i denied it. i was conditioned by a society that assumes consent, that victim blames, that refuses to acknowledge rape culture. I have to live with the fact that someone RAPED me every single day for the rest of my life. and F&M put up lights and cameras

We need to talk about how “Men ages 18-24 who are college students are approximately 5 times more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault” (RAINN).

We need to talk about how “Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence” (RAINN).

We need to talk about how “21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males” (RAINN).

We need to talk about how “84% of survivors who were victimized by an intimate partner experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school” (RAINN).

I live in fear of society’s complacency with this issue. I live in fear because the change our school made does not address rape culture. I live in fear of a society that assumes consent I live in fear of my rapist. And F&M put up lights and cameras

We need to talk about how “American Indians are twice as likely to experience a rape/sexual assault compared to all races” (RAINN).

We need to talk about how “7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim” (RAINN).

We need to talk about how “57% of perpetrators are white” (RAINN).

I live in anger how dare someone take my agency from me. how dare the school put up lights and call it a day in attempt to address the issue of sexual violence. how dare we allow rape culture to continue. how dare someone violate me and receive NO punishment.And F&M put up lights and cameras

We need to talk about how i knew none of these statistics until after i was raped and looked them up. We need to talk about this instead of adding more lights and cameras to campus.

I feel let downby our school’s title IX office, which left me feeling like it wouldn’t be worth the trouble of reporting what happened to me because no punishment would be administered to my rapist anyways. by the obvious lack of respect for female bodies in the media, which dehumanizes them to objects that are available for possession. by America’s education system, and its reluctance to educate people on our bodies and our rights. and F&M put up lights and cameras

NOTHING could be more disrespectful to victims of sexual assault than more lights and more cameras on this campus. how many more rapes will it take. give me a number.

I want administration to look into student’s eyes and tell them how many more assaults before they decide to make a change. One? Twenty? One hundred?

It is time we see reform, and that starts with education. Let’s fucking talk about this. Enough is enough.Most of all, though, we live in silence.