I’m terrified to go to college; it isn’t about the jitters or fear of isolation from family, or the evitable idea of not fitting in. It’s the fear of being raped, and the media scrutinizing me, while convincing the world that I deserved it–because I was at a party, or I had too much to drink, or I simply wore clothes that were deemed inappropriate. This is rape culture, the idea that victims were “asking for it”. Rape has been prevalent on college campuses for years, most not reported due to the shame the victim’s experience, or the backlash they may get from fellow students, and even administers. We are living in the “If you don’t tell, it didn’t happen” generation. Where victims are so scared to come forward that they hope if they don’t tell, then it’s like it never happened. This is ludicrous when 1 in 4 women on a college campus will be raped. 100,000 women this school year will be raped, will it be someone you know or will it be you?
Why aren’t we more supportive of rape victims, why do we question? Why do we bash? And why don’t we believe them?
It’s Friday morning; several students at Columbia University are dragging around a mattress in front of the school’s iconic statue, an unlikely sight. They’re here to protest the mishandling of sexual violence on campus. There were also there to support Emma Sulkowciz A Columbia senior, who has planned to carry around a mattress until her rapist is no longer at the school. She later found out that th
e same student had raped two other students, but Columbia didn’t hold him accountable when the case was investigated.
Schools are so immersed with prestige and reputation to the point that the student’s emotional welfare is last on the list of importance, rape is common in top tier schools, and Ivies, but they aren’t reporting it. They fear the public’s perception of them will change, and they want to protect their valuable athletes, but if you allow them to continue to rape more students, then will be nobody else to rape, all students will transfer.
It has been proven that rape crimes on colleges are premeditated; At Georgia tech a Phi Kappa Tau fraternity member sent an email detailing how to get “rapebait”, the email said
“A short guide … the 7 E’s of HOOKING
UP! 1. Encounter (spot a girl or group of girls) 2. Engage (go up and talk to them) 3. Escalate (ask them to dance, or ask them to go up to your room or find a couch, depending on what kind of party) 4. Erection (GET HARD) 5. Excavate (should be self-explanatory) 6. Ejaculate (should also be self explanatory) 7. Expunge (send them out of your room and on their way out when you are finished). IF ANYTHING EVER FAILS, GO GET MORE ALCOHOL. I want to see everyone succeed at the next couple parties.” The fraternity later apologized and said that it was a bad joke gone wrong. I beg to differ, shortly after this email surfaced, two Georgia Tech College students filed separate lawsuits against the Georgia Tech chapter, saying the same guy at separate PTK parties raped them.
The Hunting Ground is a new film that was released last weekend that sheds a much-needed light on rapes occurring
on college campuses. They toured coast to coast to interview rape victims from schools like University of Virginia, Yale, Hard, Notre Dame, Swarthmore, Florida State and other schools. It ‘s a disturbing look at how colleges quickly cover up rapes to protect the school, and the reputation. This film is for skeptics, who are still unsure if rape culture exist or not. Andrea Pino, a former student at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She was a freshman when she was raped at a party, a sophomore took her to a bathroom and preceded to slam her on the floor tiles, and rape her, she was a virgin. She remembers thinking, “You just stay there, and hope you don’t die.” Another freshman at the time was raped before fall classes even begun, she recalls reporting it to a college administrator, and the response was, “think of it as football game: If you look back, would you have done it differently”. These horrendous stories and more can be found in this new empowering documentary playing in select theaters.
There are ways to prevent you from being raped, one of them is, nothing. There is no single one way to prevent you from being a victim of rape. You can be raped wearing the longest skirt, and the thickest sweater. You can be raped walking your dog, or even taking a run. The idea that woman who wear scanty clad clothing are gluttons for punishment is wrong and apathetic. The way a women dresses or acts doesn’t justify rape in any shape
or form. We need to stop blaming the victims, and start blaming society for victim shaming, and making rapist feel like they’re doing what they’re suppose to do when they see a woman who is wearing something revealing. We need to hold rapist accountable, whether they’re the star athletes at a school, or not. When we stop pointing fingers, and listen to rape victims, then maybe we can find a resolution. Until then, there will be others who fear college, not for the isolation, or loneliness, but for the rape.
Evelyn is 18 years old and a freshman in college. She loves traveling, binge watching Netflix shows, and writing! She loves to look at tweets and laugh all day. She hopes to go to law school and become a human rights lawyer. She was featured in Business Insider’s Most Impressive Teen Graduates of 2015.