This page popped up on my google alert last week, and broke my heart. This woman posted her story to a site on education scholarships, looking for information about finishing her college degree, as she had to drop out after she was raped.
I flunked out of OSU in 2005 after my then-boyfriend Allan raped me and gave me herpes (I missed 2 weeks of classes because of the herpes, and didn’t have the mental strength to catch up or keep going after he raped me). I moved back home, only to have my mom throw me out a month later because I couldn’t keep up with housework (I was working 80 hrs a week to save up for a place of my own). I struggled with everything until I met my now-husband 2 years ago, and thanks to him, I’m was finally able to get my associate’s through a local community college last December
Now, I’m looking at attempting to go back to OSU next year (I tried a year & a half ago only to be denied, even though I wrote about what happened in my application… wtf). I’ll have a good chance at getting in, but the only thing is, alot of my credits won’t transfer, and I have a good deal of failed classes because of Allan, so I’ll be walking the line with financial aid eligibility (I’ll be pushing the maximum time frame for a bachelor’s degree). Because of that, I’ll barely have enough time to finish my major, nevermind the minor I really want to do (and should do for the career I want)…Is there anything I can do so I won’t be penalized because of what Allan did to me?? I’d really love to return to OSU…I know there’s other colleges, but OSU is really the best one in this area for my field of study.
I’ve heard this exact situation before, from friends with similar experiences and from students who have contacted SAFER, and it’s always beyond frustrating and so so sad. Unfortunately there aren’t a ton of resources for students like these, who just want to finish their education (if you know of any resources, please let us know) but have checkered academic histories due to the impact of their assault on their school work and health, not to mention the financial strain of lost scholarships or paying for counseling. Because SAFER focuses on students on-campus, fighting for policy reform, we don’t often talk about the ones who can no longer be there…but for them, the injustice is often greatest. It’s so infuriating to me that colleges repeatedly refuse to consider readmittance for students who have been forced to leave after a rape (and often “forced to leave” is literal, meaning the school offers them no support when their grades suffer, just kicks them out). I was just going to write something about how in light of the circumstances it’s incomprehensible to me to not allow these students a second chance, but I actually don’t even think it should be looked at as a “second chance” if you were robbed of your “first chance” by a rapist. This is a plea to let someone pick up where they left off before their life was violently interrupted through no fault of their own. I can think of few things more reasonable than that.