We Believe You Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-04-12
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

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"Me too. It happened to me too."

More than one in five women and 5 percent of men are sexually assaulted while at college. Some survivors are coming forward; others are not. In We Believe You, students from every kind of college and university—large and small, public and private, highly selective and less so—share experiences of trauma, healing, and everyday activism, representing a diversity of races, economic and family backgrounds, gender identities, immigration statuses, interests, capacities, and loves. Theirs is a bold, irrefutable sampling of voices and stories that should speak to all.

Author Biography

Annie Clark and Andrea Pino are lead complainants in the Title IX investigation of UNC-Chapel Hill, where they studied political science. They also co-founded End Rape on Campus, an organization dedicated to survivor support, public education, and policy reform. With Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Clark and Pino helped to draft the currently pending bipartisan Campus Safety and Accountability Act for the U.S. Congress.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1


Our Stories—Elise Siemering, Lauren, Andrew Brown, Anonymous S, Aysha Ives, Anonymous V, Fabiana Diaz, Anonymous XY 7
From “The Elegy of I”—Sari Rachel Forshner 18
I’m Going to College—Andrea Pino 20
Colleges 26

II—How It Happened

Our Stories, continued 35
The Attacker: A Chorus 44
Assaulted by Strangers, Twice—Zoë Rayor 54
Dear Abuelita—Andrea Pino 61
I Startle Easily—Anonymous A 64
Star Wars—Johanna Evans 69
Blackout—Abbi Gatewood 71
Gang Rape at Oregon State—Brenda Tracy 72
A Letter to My Daughter—Anonymous K 74
Right After 78

III—Trauma and Betrayal

Our Stories, continued 85
Friends: A Chorus 102
The Surprising Bravery of Others—Anonymous V 103
Code Switch—A. Zhou 106
Parents: A Chorus 112
Rape Culture: A Chorus 114
From “The Elegy of I”—Sari Rachel Forshner 115
Tennis Was My Life—Elly Fryberger 117
People You May Know—Kevin Kantor 123
The Punishments: A Chorus 128
Betrayals—Andrea Pino 130
Untouchable: Being a Trans Survivor—Princess Harmony 133
The Dangerous Myth of the “Ideal” Survivor—Princess Harmony 138
Anger: A Chorus 141
Unaccepted Students Day—A. Lea Roth and Nastassja Schmiedt 142

IV—Healing and Everyday Activism

Our Stories, continued 160
My Dog, My Best Friend—Zoë Rayor 186
Our First Conversation—Annie Clark and Andrea Pino 188
Speak Out—Julia D. 191
If It Happens to You: A Chorus 197
Accepting Entropy: How My Dad Used the Second Law of Thermodynamics to Teach Me How to Survive—Liz Weiderhold 199
Again—Regina Gonzalez-Arroyo 202
Relationships After: A Chorus 204
Olivia Benson Believes Me—Anonymous H 206
The After—Sari Rachel Forshner 210
Slowly, You Start Forgetting—Anonymous V 214
ƒ(Survival): A Function of Survival—Aditi 216
I Believe Myself: On Creativity and Healing—A. Lea Roth and Nastassja Schmiedt 223
My Own Lingerie—Abbi Gatewood 226
“Lux Libertas”—Andrea Pino 228
Women’s Studies Built Me—Stephanie Canales 231
The Teal Forks Timeline—Fabiana Diaz 237
Then Came Activism: A Chorus 242
The Professor: Some Notes on My Experience—Katie Rose Guest Pryal 245
Songs for Survival: A Playlist—A. Lea Roth and Nastassja Schmiedt 256
I Am a Phoenix—Brenda Tracy 258

V—Declarations of Independence

Statement from the Artist on Doing a Self-portrait About Rape—Chloe Allred 277
Tattoos—Annie Clark 280
Reclaiming College—Lilly Jay 282
School After: A Chorus 284
Dear Harvard: This Fight Is Not Over—Ariane Litalien 287
An Important Event—Sofie Karasek 292
I Write On—Annie Clark 296
I Have Been Told That My Skin Is Exceptionally Smooth—Regina Gonzalez-Arroyo 304
Dear Emily Yoffe—Kamilah Willingham 310
How to Become an Activist—Annie Clark and Andrea Pino 322

Rights and Resources

Help 101: What to Do Immediately After Experiencing Violence 327
Resources: Our Top Picks 329
“Why Didn’t You Go to the Police?”—Annie Clark 333
Title IX 335
Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights 336
A Note on Representation—Andrea Pino 337
Glossary 340

Our Fuller Dedication 346
Acknowledgments 349

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