First the good stuff: There is a new student government blog up and running, written by and for student gov members. If you’re interested in writing (or reading) check it out!
I am also glad to hear about a workshop that took place recently at Brown, called “I’ll Only Tell a Friend: Learning the Best Ways to Help Someone Who’s Been Hurt by Sexual Assault.” We don’t talk nearly enough about peer support, which is a huge issue since although many survivors don’t report to the police, they DO tell friends, and it can be hard to know how to offer support. I although think it’s important to offer support and guidance to the friends themselves—being a support-system is can be really overwhelming. These are big parts of the conversation and shouldn’t be left out even though there’s so much else to talk about.
For the really terrible news of the day: Indiana University has been in the news a lot recently in regards to sexual assault—the story of former IU student Margaux J. was one of the main components of CPI’s recent reports. But unfortunately IU has resurfaced this week in the aftermath of a suspected sexual assault on campus. I tend not to report on specific incidents of sexual assault on this blog, but this one really stuck out to me. Trigger Warning:
The probable cause affidavit in the case claims that Yu and the victim went to a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity party and were seen on security camera getting a sober ride to the Foster Magee dorm. Prosecutors say Yu is allegedly seen dragging the woman into the dorm and dragging her back outside partially-clothed about an hour later.
The alleged assailant has pled not guilty, and it’s unclear how this case will turn out. Other students found the victim in front of the dorm, half naked and unconscious, so it doesn’t look good…
But what really spoke to me about this story is that these students were getting a sober ride home before the alleged assault took place. She had taken safety precautions; she was being responsible. This is a painful reminder that all of the campus safety risk-reduction initiatives in the world won’t wipe out sexual violence if we don’t ALSO work to mandate prevention education for the people who are responsible for raping and assaulting their peers.