Trigger Warning: This article gives a detailed account of a sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.

There are few things more degrading than being sexually assaulted. Your body is forced to submit to the absolute authority of someone else. You desperately try to have your voice heard, but your protests are meaningless. Your denials of consent are disregarded until you eventually recognize that you are powerless. You close your eyes and wait until it is over. But time becomes your enemy. It slows until every second becomes an hour and every minute becomes a day. It slows until every excruciating sordid detail of the attack is burned into your memory and you are branded for life.

On September 10, 2014, I was violently sexually assaulted in my on-campus residence by an acquaintance.

He pinned me to the bed and started kissing me. He began groping at my breasts, my back, my hips, and my waist. I pushed against his chest and begged him to stop. He became violent. He bit my lower lip, my neck, and my stomach until my body ached from the pain. I whimpered and begged him to stop, but he was relentless and became increasingly infuriated by my resistance. When I would not submit, he continued to abuse my body. He grabbed my neck to kiss me again, and pressed down on my windpipe. I could barely breath.

I reported my assault the next morning to the Office of Public Safety.

I spent the next month answering questions about that night. I was frequently asked if I had “actually said no” or if I had led him on. The witnesses were asked similar questions: if the marks on my body were bite marks or “just hickeys,” if I was trying to make my ex-boyfriend “jealous,” and more infuriatingly, if I had been “flirting with him” before the attack.

The Title IX Office and The Office of the Dean of Students did not offer me support. They informed me that it was incredibly possible that even if a sexual assault had taken place, he may not be found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct. I was informed me that were he to be found responsible, a likely punishment would be suspension for a semester, meaning he would return to Wesleyan before I graduate. They insisted that no matter what though I was safe, because I have a No Contact Order and should he violate that I should contact Public Safety immediately.

They never said it explicitly, but this is what they meant: You have no evidence that what took place was non-consensual. You will lose your case. Give up now and accept the No Contact Order as good enough. Despite Wesleyan’s “commitment” to due process and protecting victims of sexual assault, I did not feel safe or supported. I felt blamed for what happened to me. It was clear that no one was fighting for my best interest or the best interest of the female student body.

I went into the hearing knowing I could not win my case.

A partition haphazardly draped across the conference room was the only thing separating me from my assailant in the hearing. I sat anxiously in silence unless asked a specific question by the panel. Even then, I spoke meekly, stuttering and shaking as I spoke. My attacker did not wait for questions. He spoke clearly and freely. He assassinated my character and claimed I was “lying to tarnish his good name.” He categorically denied violently pinning me to the bed, biting me, and choking me. He claimed that he “ostensibly felt” that I was enjoying the encounter. When asked how he got consent he responded without pausing “I did not get consent, but…”

The results came back the next day: not responsible by virtue of implied consent.

I had lost my case even though he admitted that he had not gotten consent. Worse yet, I was denied an appeal because the bias in the case file had not “adversely impacted the outcome of the hearing.” It dawned on me that I was going to have to see him on-campus for the next two years and he would never be punished for what he had done to me.

More terrifying than these realizations, was a painful truth about Wesleyan: they were going to protect my assailant instead of me.

Why? Because he pays full tuition and will continue to do so for the next three semesters, while I can barely afford a third of Wesleyan’s sticker price. Because he is an athlete, while I am a researcher in a chemistry lab. Because finding another member of one of the three residential fraternities would result in disastrous media coverage that the university cannot afford, while allowing another victim to be silenced and abused is just a statistic.

Dear Wesleyan:

I am writing to let you know that I finally give up on my case. You have received your final round of emails from me imploring you for assistance. I will no longer attempt to schedule meetings with members of the Office of the Dean of Students or the Title IX Office to get justice. I will no longer bother asking you for help, because I know I will not receive it.

Although I am done fighting for myself, I will continue advocating for other victims until the systematic failures of the current process are resolved.

Wesleyan, I urge you to change the investigative procedures for Title IX violations as well as the policies in the non-academic code of conduct as they pertain to sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

As it stands now, a Public Safety officer collects statements from the complainant, the respondent, and the witnesses. This officer is then responsible for summarizing each statement and submitting this to the official case file. Once a statement is in the file, even if the witness believes information to have been falsely reported or misinterpreted, the statement cannot be amended or removed from the official file.

I believe that this is incredibly inequitable. The current process leaves significant room for interpretation or implicit biased by the investigating officer. For this reason, not one, but two Public Safety officers should be responsible for each Title IX investigation. Moreover, the investigating officers should record and transcribe witness statements, rather than short and vague summaries of conversations that ultimately provide no information.

The current code specifies sexual assault as: “Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent. This includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact achieved by the use or threat of force or coercion, where an individual does not consent to the sexual act, or where an individual is incapacitated.” Additionally, consent is regarded as “an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in sexual activity.”

The problem with this definition is that it includes implied consent, or consent inferred from a person’s actions or circumstances. The distinction between “I ostensibly felt that she was enjoying it” and “she was asking for it” becomes non-existent. So how can implied consent be considered consent at all?

If Wesleyan is nearly as progressive as it claims, then it is time to make the switch to the California Policy of consent. Rather than the archaic “no means no” policy, which places the onus on the victim to prove that consent was denied, it stipulates that the accused must prove that a clear affirmation of consent was given by the accuser before every sexual act that occurred during that encounter.

This policy does not mean that you need to sign a waiver or ask “Do you consent to this sexual act now?” Rather, ask your perspective partner, “What feels good for you?” or “What do you want to do right now?” before engaging in sexual activity. Not only that, but also asking for consent along the way to make sure that your partner is still comfortable. And this can be as simple as “Do you like this?” or “How does this feel?” And if the answer to this question is not a resounding “HELL YES,” but an “I guess” or “not really,” then it means no.

Wesleyan, I wake up every night from post-traumatic stress disorder related nightmares every night. I have developed an eating disorder and anxiety. I have withdrawn from the community I love because I am now too afraid to be a part of it. I often consider transferring to another school so I do not need to see my attacker at Pi or in Freeman.

I implore you to protect survivors of sexual assault in a way I was not protected. Do not allow another victim to suffer what I have been through and continue to suffer through. It is time to change a broken system.

I did not get justice for what happened to me, but I am asking that you get justice for the next survivor who comes to you asking for help.

  • Greg

    “Do you like this?” Affirmative consent has been violated if you have to ask this question, because you’ve touched without giving affirmative consent. Go to kangaroo court and be expelled.

    Men, aren’t you tired of being viewed as a rapist and of all the Misandry/male hatred, bigotry on campus? Forget the feminist lies/propaganda, you are not inherently predators/rapists/batterers.

    • Josh

      Men are not inherently predators/rapists/batterers. But your opposition to these labels is a denial of any man’s capability to prey, to batter, to rape. And I mean any man, Greg, myself as well as you as well as this poor woman’s assailant.

      It’s not a matter of saying all men are rapists; it’s a matter of dispelling the notion that any given person–predominantly men, yes, but any person–is incapable of sexual assault, because he (or she, or ze) is a good kid, because he (or she, or ze) didn’t mean for it to happen that way, because he (or she) misunderstood the signals. All people are capable of destructive acts against hir fellow person, and respecting that person’s human right to support and justice is vital.

      I’d like to believe that no person is inherently any of the things you’ve claimed men aren’t. Anyone who calls all men rapists is being flagrantly unfair and irresponsible. But anyone who stands against victims’ rights and diminishes the threats they face is being dangerous and inhumane.

      • Anonymous

        Go back to TUMBLR with your BS pronouns. Good god.

      • Josh

        Is there something wrong with she? Sorry if I offended you.

    • Anonymous

      No one is arguing that men are inherently rapists, predators, or batterers. That is not the purpose of this article. The purpose is to share a story with a perspective and that is the perspective of a victim of sexual assault who has been wronged by a system.

      It is actually a very small number of people perpetrating a large number of sexual assaults. Although 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college, the average perpetrator will assault approximately 6 women. Not all men are rapists, but all rapists should be removed from our university.

      To devalue the story of a survivor is incredibly dangerous and insensitive.

      • Greg

        Fed law(Clery Act) mandates campus crime stats be published. 1 in 5 ? Is a feminist lie/propaganda/dogma. Clery Act analysis of the 3 biggest schools in Pittsburgh? 1 in 1877.

        http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/opinion/the-radical-middle/27667–one-in-one-thousand-eight-hundred-seventy-seven

        This is a great article on the “Campus Rape Myth.”

        http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html

        Enjoy!

      • Anonymous

        http://www.woar.org/resources/sexual-assault-statistics.php

        http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf

        http://www.ncdsv.org/images/sexualassaultstatistics.pdf

        http://www.sarsonline.org/resources-stats/reports-laws-statics

        Everyone can find statistics to support their argument, but the issue is not the number or a statistic, it’s the fact that sexual assault occurs at all.

        Let’s consider Wesleyan for example. According to the Clery Act Statistics approximately 15 sexual assaults were reported in 2013. Assuming (like your article did) that only 10% of sexual assaults are reported, that means that the number is likely closer to 150. This likely does not even take into account a recent statistic that 100 freshman women will be sexually assaulted or be victims of sexual misconduct. Let’s assume some overlap and assume that the actual number is closer to 200-250 sexual assaults per year at Wesleyan. Therefore at Wesleyan about 1 in 10 students are sexually assaulted. Whether the number is 1 in 10 or 1 in 5 or 1 in 1000, the fact is someone is being sexually assaulted. THAT’S A PROBLEM!

        If you don’t see how dangerous that is, that is also a problem.

      • anonymous

        you literally aren’t even in college/at Wesleyan, stop commenting on shit like this its sad and also creepy

      • Gretchen Wieners

        “YOU DON’T EVEN GO HERE!”

        But seriously, this is getting national attention, and the leader of a prominent national victims’ rights organization is the top comment. Naturally, the trolls are marching in :P

      • Vel

        This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the- mill, regular and recurring sexual assault that occurs on the Wesleyan campus that everyone seems to be defending as normal and the result of confusion over consent. Maybe i’m a prude or not quite as progressive as the average on campus resident but I don’t engage in choking and biting when I’m having consensual sex.

  • Survivor at another NESCAC

    Hey survivor, I am really sorry that this has happened to you. When I read this, I could feel my own body responding to the memory of the violence done upon my body. I just wanted to let you know that, you still have options. “Implied Consent” (whatever the FUCK that means) is not recognized by the Office of Civil Rights, or the campus SAVE act…. what I mean to say is, that you can file a Title IX complaint or case, and get justice, in some way, shape, or form. There are amazing people an organizations that can help you. Please check out Know Your IX, who are a group of survivors who are working to educate students about their rights. There are also amazing law firms who can help you with your case pro-bono (that means, for free). Legal Momentum (NYC based), Victim Rights Law Center (Boston based) and the National Women’s Law Center (DC based), are also great places to begin. You can also, if you want a more anonymous group of people to talk to, reach out to SurvJustice (DC based). You are not alone, I love you and care for you, co-human being, and you are so brave and so strong for this. Love and Solidarity, AB.

  • Captain Crunch

    First and foremost, thank you to the author for speaking out and asserting the dignity of herself and all others who suffer similar fates. Colleges across the country have a poor track record of policing sexual assault, as does the U.S. Military. What could help women on campuses and in uniform is to seek the intervention of local authorities, such as the local police and prosecuting attorneys, to seek justice for a crime in which they have jurisdiction. This is a crime that occurred in Middletown, and might well be dealt with outside of the Wesleyan administration.

    • Trix

      If the burden at proof for campus punishment (50.1%) isn’t met, I have a hard time believing “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is going to be met.

    • DavidL

      Uh, over half the assaults in the military are inflicted on men.

      • Vel

        85 percent of the people in the military are men, so if half of assaults are against men, women are 6 times more likely to be sexually assaulted, not accounting for the many military women who don’t report sexual assault because of the career-ending nature of that report.

  • Marvin

    You give absolutely no evidence that the University ruled the way they did because of his status as an athlete or how much tuition he pays. Making baseless accusations like that undermines your credibility.

    • Anonymous

      It was speculative; however, I would argue that the claim is not baseless. In cases where the perpetrator admits he did not get consent and is still found not responsible for a sexual assault, I struggle to find another reason the university could have possibly ruled the way it did.

      • check your checking

        calling him an athlete is misleading. he plays a club sport. i agree with marvin that you’re accusations undermine your credibility

      • Vel

        Blame the victim, so very progressive of you.

  • we are anonymous

    what a despicable pack of lies. you ought to hang your head in shame, and reflect on the snakelike manner in which you have made baseless, though highly embellished, accusations against an individual who you knew was the perfect target for your warped power trip. obviously, there was a reason you lost your case. maybe its because you were unconvincing and didn’t furnish sufficient evidence. maybe its because he was more convincing and brought counter-evidence (these are both possibilities…) i really can’t sympathize with your frustration that the university didn’t blindly side with your version of events – (imagine that! — a world where you actually have to back up the shit you say with convincing evidence that supports your claims — fucking mindblowing eh?!) of course, not all assaults can be proven (only an idiot would fail to admit that) especially in a criminal court. but in a university setting, the burden of proof is MUCH LOWER (Title 9 was designed to help victims, but is abused by nobodies like you.) and you still failed to offer something compelling that could convince a panel of your story — a panel that has been MANDATED to be MORE OPEN to the plaintiff’s allegations. that is to say, you failed under the most auspicious circumstances.. its easy to be convincing to the readers here, but i imagine it was slightly more difficult to be persuasive when thinking people were actually questioning you and assessing the CREDIBILITY of your account (what a presumptuous, insensitive and unwarranted invasion, you must be thinking…..how about understanding the basic definition of an INVESTIGATION and getting with the fucking program!) you are among the scummy few who cry wolf and look to game the staff/students who are kind/caring enough (and foolish enough!) to buy your emotional crock of shit, which relies more on evocative language than genuine substance. it’s not the that the privileged few simply get away with murder – WESLEYAN IS BETTER THAN THAT! it’s not the case that ‘brothers always win’ – but LIARS ALWAYS LOSE. im glad the school sided with the right individual. conisder yourself dispatched.

    • Ally

      Ok, everything in this post exemplifies what’s wrong with the way we think. Regardless of the outcome of the case, are you seriously trying to belittle and insult a survivor? And I say that with the recognition that maybe in a legal context this couldn’t be found as sexual assault, but if someone is experiencing such extreme emotional issues as the author still is, why would you seek to attack her further? Unless you’re the man she’s writing about and are just pissed off, you have no excuse to continue to insult someone who’s dealing with so much that she found it necessary to write an article like this.

      • unbiased

        it could just as easily have been a close friend of that person – besides, he (presumably its a guy) makes a lot of strong points that we need to engage with, not just dismiss. we need a constructive dialogue…

      • x

        “you are among the scummy few who cry wolf and look to game the staff/students who are kind/caring enough (and foolish enough!) to buy your emotional crock of shit, ”
        Do you call this constructive dialogue? Come on. This is a hateful rant.

    • Matt

      One would think that if a person admits to not obtaining consent, then ze would be found responsible for not obtaining consent. The victim was in a situation where she obviously felt extremely uncomfortable. The fact that a victim has to present undeniable evidence to prove a lack of consent is problematic in itself. My question to you is where is your irrefutable evidence that these are lies? Your words demonstrate the unacceptable trend of victim blaming that is present across the world today.

      • we are anonymous

        you missed some of the major points – 1.that the standard of evidence stipulated by Title IX is ‘preponderance of evidence’, rather than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ (aka they don’t have to provide ‘undeniable evidence’, they just have to show its more likely than not.) 2. the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and the accused is to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. unless you wish to overturn these fundamental tenets of modern law i wouldn’t go down that road…

      • J

        Buddy, you’re just an asshole. And I’m a conservative from Louisiana who is a brother at DKE and a football player.

        I feel sorry for you; you must be a victim of some sort bc no one is innately this much of a douche.

    • Venice

      you are quite obviously part of the problem, and know that your absurd posturing as an authority on the victims character and motivations is blatantly ridiculous!

      • unbiased

        would you mind pointing out the exact bit where he makes direct assertions about the ‘victims character and motivations’? thanks

      • Adam

        um… the whole comment?

    • wow

      definitely the perp. what a creep

    • Anonymous

      As the victim of this assault I would like to clarify some things that should be noted for “we are anonymous”:
      1. These are not “baseless accusations” for “a warped power trip.” This is my story. I have not set out to target anyone. My assailant violently assaulted me, so if anyone did the targeting, it was him.
      2. It is a lot easier to be convincing when you aren’t bound by the truth and can read off of a sheet of paper written by a lawyer.
      3. The burden is a lot higher when your assailant makes it painfully clear that they have the financial backing that makes them worthwhile and saintly in the eyes of the administration. In my assailant’s own words when he stood outside my home screaming at my house and housemate, “I had no idea who I was messing with” and that “he was going to get a good lawyer and I should too.”
      4. The investigation targeted my history with my ex-boyfriend (which is exceedingly amicable) to question my credibility. However, the only thing that should have mattered was what happened in my room that night. Plain and clear what happened was beyond a doubt sexual assault. And my credibility should never have been tarnished because I have a good relationship with my ex-boyfriend. My perpetrator and his witness twisted the story to make it sound like I was still in love with him, all the while I was actually seeing someone else. Even my ex was appalled that such statements came into play.
      5. 2% of reports of sexual assault are false. I am a part of the 98% who is telling the truth. NO ONE would willingly go through this process and continue to fight until the university told them that there were no other options unless a sexual assault took place.

      6. Shame on you for your victim blaming attitude. The university got it wrong and I intend to see to it that no one is ever left in the position I am in.

    • Adam

      your aggressive language is incredibly concerning – and your use of the word “nobody” to describe the author makes it clear that you are the one on the power trip.

    • ew

      you are not a good person

    • ew

      you are not a good person

    • DavidL

      Troll alert.

    • FemPhi

      It’s also hilarious how you’ve titled yourself “we are anonymous” when the actual “anonymous” group took down the Steubenville rape case. if you thought you were being clever by donning a vigilante title, then honey, you should check yourself before you post ridiculous, victim-blaming, horribly misogynistic, profoundly malevolent, and gross exaggerations and lies.

      • Anonymous

        There’s no such thing as “the actual anonymous.”

    • My name is Ethan

      way too harsh dude. Even if the school made the right decision, the personal attacking on this girl who seems to mean well is unwarranted, unhelpful, and just plain mean.

      It’s not that I disagree with your opinion that the school got it right, or that her claim lacks evidence. I see it the way you do. But no one believes you’d be so “tough” on this poor girl if you wrote your real name instead of “we are anonymous.”

      Wesleyan is better than that dude, and I think you know it.

    • Vel

      This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the- mill, regular and recurring sexual assault that occurs on the Wesleyan campus that everyone seems to be defending as normal and the result of confusion over consent. Maybe I’m a prude or not quite as progressive as the average on campus resident but I don’t engage in choking and biting when I’m having consensual sex. This was the act of a sadist, not a horny jock.

  • this is all complicated

    On the other hand, a close friend of mine obtained consent during a sexual encounter. 2 months later, the other party accused him of sexual misconduct. It was his word versus hers. He got kicked out.

    • on the wrong side

      how do you know the close friend actually obtained consent? false accusations are extremely rare. this sounds like some rape apologist shit to me.

      • Thomas

        How do you know he didn’t? Even IF false accusations are rare, that doesn’t brand every accused person as guilty until innocent.

      • survivors aren’t guilty

        so we treat the accused parties as innocent until proven guilty, but treat survivors of violence as guilty until proven innocent? no, I don’t buy that

      • Reply

        Sorry that you don’t buy that, but this country works on the basis of innocent until proven guilty. Sexual assault is abhorrent, disgusting, and should not be tolerated at all. But expelling someone without proof of guilt, simply because there is no proof of innocence is equally tragic and wrong.

      • Alicia

        Nope, it’s not. Also, this is not “the country” we’re talking about – it’s universities. Getting kicked out of school for raping someone is not a harsh punishment, especially when “the country” puts young black men in cages and ruins their lives for minor drug offenses.

      • Reply

        so you think if someone is accused of sexual assault at wesleyan, and it cannot be proved that ze is guilty, but it also cannot be proved that ze is innocent, that ze should be expelled?

      • Vel

        This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the- mill, regular and recurring sexual assault that occurs on the Wesleyan campus that everyone seems to be defending as normal and the result of confusion over consent. Maybe i’m a prude or not quite as progressive as the average on campus resident but I don’t engage in choking and biting when I’m having consensual sex.

      • Anonymous

        “false accusations are extremely rare”

        How could you possibly know this? There are a few studies on the subject, but all of them suffer from serious problems and they have results all over the map. From 2% to 41%. The truth is that this is a subject that is virtually impossible to credibly study. Not without a perfect lie detector of some kind.

      • Tod

        I thought the same thing as you. False accusation of sexual assault are rare. However, I now sit here accused of sexual assault, when I KNOW it was not. You will never understand the emotional toll it has on me, school, friends, everything seems so distant. Because people like you are persistent at saying false accusation don’t happen, they do. I hope my case will get cleared, but you never know, with the burden of proof at 50.00001%

    • on the wrong side

      how do you know the close friend actually obtained consent? false accusations are extremely rare. this sounds like some rape apologist shit to me.

  • JG

    What you’re describing isn’t rape. Sorry you regret the choices you made.

    • Guest

      that’s super fucked up to say to someone. If she felt violated she has the right to speak about her experience. Why would you go out of your way to make her feel worse than she already does? cruel.

    • Anonymous

      You are right in saying that what is being described here is not rape. It’s sexual assault. Here is how you know it was sexual assault and not regret: I said no during the sexual encounter multiple times. I had a panic attack as soon as he left. I emailed Alysha Warren as soon as I was calm enough to compose an email to request a meeting to discuss what had happened to me. Most sexual assault victims who report are not regretting their choices, rather they are trying to get justice. This is the exact type of victim blaming attitude that perpetuates rape culture.

    • another survivor

      what you are doing is invalidating the trauma that someone lives with everyday of their lives. sorry you are an awful person.

    • Anonymous

      Let me say this: the definition of sexual assault getting tossed around on college campuses these days is completely absurd. No one verbally asks for consent every single time they give their long-term partner a peck on the cheek. No one stops to ask at every single micro-step of foreplay. If this standard were consistently enforced, every sexually active student on campus would be guilty.

      That said, what this story describes is clearly sexual assault.

      If someone repeatedly says no and physically resists, that’s pretty unambiguously non-consensual. That’s not saying that I believe this story is necessarily 100% accurate, however. Some points just seem a bit far-fetched to me. Particularly with regard to the school’s response.

  • David Lee Roth

    Well college girl, if your mama didn’t tell you what might happen when you let a college man into your dorm room, guess you found out now

    • FemPhi

      Hey college boy, didn’t your daddy ever tell you how to not be a chauvinistic pig?

  • DavidL

    “Let’s consider Wesleyan for example. According to the Clery Act Statistics approximately 15 sexual assaults were reported in 2013. Assuming (like your article did) that only 10% of sexual assaults are reported, that means that the number is likely closer to 150. This likely does not even take into account a recent statistic that 100 freshman women will be sexually assaulted or be victims of sexual misconduct. Let’s assume some overlap and assume that the actual number is closer to 200-250 sexual assaults per year at Wesleyan. Therefore at Wesleyan about 1 in 10 students are sexually assaulted. Whether the number is 1 in 10 or 1 in 5 or 1 in 1000, the fact is someone is being sexually assaulted. THAT’S A PROBLEM!”

    Assume that these numbers are true. (They are necessarily suspect, because they are based on guesses and projections from a very small amount of data, but certainly the projections could be accurate.) Why would any young woman remain at Wesleyan if this is the case? Why would Wesleyan itself not be subject to lawsuits that would be ruinous financially and reputationally to the school? Unless you believe that all schools are like this (they are not), you should be running away from Wesleyan and advising others not to come near the place. If these numbers are correct, the environment is permitting about two assaults a day for the time that students are actually on campus. It would be best just to shut the place down and start over.

  • David Lee Roth

    What kind of damages were inflicted other than ’emotional’?

    • Anonymous

      Would you like a picture of the bite marks on my stomach or the bruises on my body? That stuff went away though. Two months after the fact, the ’emotional’ damage still leaves me in tears in the middle of the night because of nightmares and having panic attacks in public. I would argue that the emotional trauma has a much more profound impact on my life than anything else.

      • David Lee Roth

        Judge Judy says “is time to grow up”

  • Concerned

    Public safety and the college administration are wholly unqualified to appropriately review criminal cases. If you’re raped, wherever you’re raped, call 911 immediately.

    • s

      you have no idea what happened after you left the room- sitting on someone’s lap does not mean they are consenting to having sex.

      • Concerned

        I was trying to remain within the bounds of good taste. She straddled him and was groping him and basically tongue bathing his head. I became friends with her later and she told me the details of that second encounter. She expressed some anger at her female friend for manipulating her view of what had happened the first time and related that she had not maintained that friendship (which lasted only the first few weeks of the year).
        I don’t know what to say about the Title IX provisions. For me it’s an unfair system both to accuser and accused.

      • Concerned

        Also, I wonder if campus “rape culture” is as much a sad byproduct of hookup culture as an entity unto itself; when people essentially use each other to get off rather than having sex as an expression of love, I think that on average women are probably more likely to feel that something not right happened than men, who are simply more profligate and typically grateful to get in and out of a sexual encounter without emotional entanglements. This is not at all to say that campus rape doesn’t happen–probably it’s quite common. But for me that makes all the more necessary the distinction between “my feelings are facts and I feel traumatized by an experience that did not meet the legal criteria for rape” encounters and cases in which laws have indeed been broken. Obviously colleges will have to find a way to move forward from this back and forth of women and men caricaturing each other and then–perhaps by projective identification–behaving in a caricatured way. Women rightfully resent having their feelings discounted and men don’t like being regarded as pre-rapists. Again, I come back to hookup culture–when there isn’t familiarity between the partners such that they know each other’s preferences and boundaries, these legally liminal cases seem inevitable. There don’t seem to be easy answers here.

    • all exchanges are a two-way st

      There are several important differences between reporting to the police vs. reporting to the University which complicate your stance.

      1.The legal system has no timeline or deadlines upon which an investigation and adjudication must be completed, whereas the University must complete the process within 60 days per the Student Handbook. So, most students who report to the police (even if the incident is reported their freshman year) will not likely remain in Middletown long enough for the process to be completed given that many students move after graduation and are unable to return to see the case through.
      2. The burden of proof is much higher in the legal system than it is for the University. This means that a respondent does not need to be found guilty “beyond reasonable doubt” but instead that an incident is “more likely than not to have occurred.” On the other hand, a lower burden of proof also means that the punishments if found guilty by the University are significantly lower in severity than they are in a court of law (i.e. being suspended for a semester/being asked to write a paper/do community service/attend bystander intervention training instead of being jailed/having a criminal record/being forced to add your name to sex offender registry lists).
      3. The University is legally obligated to review cases that fall under Title IX. I think we have all established a mutual understanding that the administration is not even close to being adequately prepared to handle such cases, which is why they are working on policy changes. It is up to the Wesleyan community to hold them accountable and speak up in favor of policies and procedures that we feel are appropriate for our campus community.

      The above differences aside, your story is really problematic and I encourage you to look at why you feel the way you do about the situation you shared. Did the girl who participated in the hookup ultimately feel violated by the encounter? If so, your speculation about her past sexual trauma is incredibly inappropriate and victim-blaming. If not, her friend is a jerk and had no place sharing someone else’s story and “outing” your friend in such a public way. Like “s” said, you do not know what took place in that room unless you overheard them both saying something like “I want to fuck you so bad right now” and the other person responding enthusiastically. Maybe if your friend and his friend had been better educated about and felt comfortable expressing clear communication and enthusiastic, positive consent, there would not be room for so much speculation.

  • we are anonymous

    give two fucks what you guys think. it’s over. the winners have won. the liars got what was coming. your whining won’t change anything so go have a fucking spin on it

    • bleh

      this isn’t about “winning” or “losing” holy shit you are delusional

    • You Are Not Anonymous

      You really are twisted. He didn’t win anything. He tortured a defenseless girl in her own home and he should be ashamed of himself.

      You clearly care what people think because you keep commenting to get people to see your perspective. No one will agree with you because what he did was wrong and illegal.

      And there are ways to punish the perpetrator legally or through Wesleyan. He has probably done it before and it is possible to have one of them bring charges against him. Additionally, if a Title IX case is brought against the school the case would need to be reviewed. Based on the clear violations, there is a case and he could be found responsible for the assault. He could also violate the no contact order by failing to vacate an area and that would result in sanctions. There can also be legal charges, which if there are pictures of the abuse, May not be nearly as difficult to prove as you seem to think.

      • JG

        When you express frustration at the fact that you were asked “whether you actually said no” it suggests one of two things:

        1. You did not actually say “no,” and don’t like being reminded of that fact;

        2. You have a skewed perception of how the presumption of innocence works. When something as serious as sexual assault is being alleged, you should expect tough questions.

  • Tentative argument

    The problem is not a he lied/she lied dichotomy, it is the fact that a gray area of consent, especially when one or both people were drunk, can easily lead to confusion. I was accused and it had incredibly negative effects on me that have persisted for a long time. Eating disorders, sleeping problems, depression, the desire to escape, it can happen to someone who is accused too. It hurts to think someone would accuse you when you accidentally violate consent, instead of just talking to you about it and helping you understand your mistake. Then again, this has nothing to do with this case and if this really happened, which it most likely did, then I have all the compassion for you in the world.

    • all exchanges are a two-way st

      I sympathize with you, and thank you for sharing this comment because it is a perspective that is often left out of these conversations. That being said, someone who feels that you violated them most likely would not be comfortable coming to you to talk about it… This is why communication is so important. The “grey area” where you did not realize you were violating someone’s body includes both individuals not communicating their definition of consent, a lack of verbal or physical response that clearly indicates that this person is enthusiastically responding in a positive manner, any instances where substance might be involved and impair one’s ability to give consent, and many more possibilities. The onus is on all parties to communicate; in the future, if you (or the person you are with) are unable to give clear enthusiastic consent, put things on hold until a later time when both parties are able to communicate what their desires are. Maybe it turns out that the other person actually has no interest in hooking up with you or moving things past your dance floor makeout/dry-humping session – so be it. Respecting another person’s body and desires trumps your horniness, always. Or, maybe they are interested, in which case you both can express your desires and hopefully walk away mutually satisfied from your encounter.

      It’s nice that you wish your complainant had reached out to you for discussion beforehand, and that you feel you would’ve been receptive to whatever they would’ve addressed in that conversation. There was also nothing stopping you from checking in with them after your encounter to see how it went for them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, maybe this is a good time to examine why you do not struggle being physically intimate with someone but are unable to continue either a platonic or romantic relationship with them in which you would feel comfortable sending a follow-up text or waving hello or asking on a romantic Wes Wings date.

      In my mind, being intimate (sexually or otherwise) with another person requires a fair amount of maturity and self-confidence, or at least a degree of understanding about what my personal beliefs and desires are. I set standards for myself regarding who I hook up with how and in what contexts, and try my hardest to follow them, although I also try to be gentle with myself if I act outside those standards (having a one-night stand, for example) and do my best to follow up responsibly afterwards both with myself and the other person. Finally, I generally use the rule that if I can’t talk about it, I probably shouldn’t be doing it… I hope both you and your complainant find peace and gain closure from what happened between you.

    • Vel

      Oh I get it, a girl getting drunk is “implied consent.” It’s kind of like short skirts and cleavage, also “implied consent?” If you come upon a drunk NUN, you can get “confused” and have sex with her and that’s okay? Such a literal interpretation of Wesleyan values… love they neighbor, whether they want to or not!

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  • hold on

    what many at this school clearly fail to understand is that people who do not have first-hand knowledge/direct, longstanding relationship with either plaintiff/accused ought not to comment because they cannot claim to be versed in the pertinent details of the case or the character of those involved…it’s one thing to comment on sexual assault culture and quite another to label X as guilty/bad etc…we need to start holding ourselves to higher standards so we don’t jump to conclusions about individuals who we think we know…secondly, we ought to be more cautious about how we discuss people who have actually been found innocent of charges…the most definite conclusion an uninvolved observer can come to is that they do not know what happened. anything else is quite frankly speculative, unfounded and potentially hazardous to the reputation of the parties involved. having a strong opinion in the absence of any direct and damning evidence is really a poor position to hold and not becoming of supposedly intellectual people who are supposed to deal in facts/observable truths. treat other people as you would wish to be treated in an analogous situation.

    • Consent

      While no one was there that night and no one commenting can personally attest to the intimate details of that night, it seems clear to me that she said no and that he kept going and that she is traumatized by the event. No one is saying that he is a bad person because of the article itself, but knowing both parties, I can say she is gentle and sweet, even though she is loud and a little crazy sometimes, she has a heart of gold. He is aggressive, has physically assaulted women at parties, and makes a number of women uncomfortable because of mysoginistic comments. Take that as you will.

      Moreover, the article was left anonymous so that no one would know the name of the victim or the accused and that the real issue of the way Wesleyan handled the case could be front and center. And while no one shod make judgment values about either party, when someone says they did not get consent and are not found responsible for sexual assault, it calls into question a lot about the university that should be considered.

      However, it is human nature to judge. No one is allowed character witnesses in a sexual assault hearing so what you have just described is almost exactly as much information as people who hear the cases have. And they judge if he is guilty or not.

      I undershear that if your friend’s character is being attacked it could be hard to hear, but it is simply life and the real world and objective is nearly impossible to come by.

  • Scott Michaud

    Here’s an interesting look at how America looks at/deals with/thinks about rape culture in this country… very sad.
    http://www.vox.com/2014/11/20/7246681/rape-victims-bill-cosby

    Why we were so desperate to ignore the Bill Cosby rape allegations

  • Vel

    Power… I don’t mean physical power… is how how people get away with sexual exploitation. Bill Cosby was forced to admit to rape when he settled a lawsuit in 2006 but he remained “America’s Dad,” smart, funny and beloved. Both then and now, many other women came forward to make the same claims, not for money but in an attempt to regain control of their lives from that powerful image of Bill Cosby. Remember that it is not in dispute that he was a rapist.. he admitted that.. he just denies being a SERIAL RAPIST and says that since all this happened so long ago everyone should just forget about it and still continue loving and paying him. It seems that 1/3 of the people blame his victims.. “you know there is a way of not participating in oral sex”… don’t believe ANY of the women ” they are seeking 15 minutes of “fame” (???) by their victim claims.” They don’t seem to believe that ANYBODY could actually do this and get away with it!!!! Read the above. When was the LAST time you heard of a successful prosecution of a man raping a woman when they were not strangers to each other and there were no witnesses to the actual act? Exactly… doesn’t happen. Then add to that a difference in the power (value/ credentials/ position/ standing/ wealth/ recognition/ etc.), a less powerful victim doesn’t have a chance for true justice unless they die in the act.

  • Vel

    We are like a large high school…. many of us know who “Anonymous” is from the “Accused athlete” and all his protestations of victimhood. What we are seeing playing out on this page is blame the real victim because we don’t want to believe that someone who seems like us could do such a violent and despicable act. Instead, we make everything seem softer and more uncertain, using words like confusion over consent or implied consent. All males can relate to that because you never want to ask that direct question because we fear the answer could be NO. But this act was violent! Can “implied consent” also include consent to a cruel, aggressive, violent attack. This is the work of a sadist, not a confused, misunderstood horny man.
    Anonymous

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