Admin. Rape Response Awful
To the Editor:
As members of the Sexual Assault Support Team we are writing to register our concern about the rape that occurred after Drag Ball and the subsequent articles responding to it. Our views may not reflect the view of the entire organization, and we do not claim to speak for SAST.
First of all, we would like to say that just because this rape was perpetrated against a non-student does not mean that it was okay or does not need to be taken very seriously. In both articles [President] Nancy Dye and [Dean of Students] Peter Goldsmith imply that we shouldn’t be too concerned with this rape because it did not happen to a student. We always need to be concerned about rape and it is frustrating at best that not one person has expressed outrage at this rape –– we’re all just so relieved it didn’t happen to us. Except that there probably were many more sexual assaults that night committed by acquaintances or dates in rooms that were not reported because of the disbelief and lack of support the survivors were sure to get from this campus.
Additionally, the racist and classist implications of the most recent article were really outstanding. At least two staff members said that if there weren’t so many outsiders (read town members, read working class and poor and people of color) then we would be fine. How naďve. How fucked up. As a Peacekeeper that night I would like to relate a little story. Throughout the course of the night me and my peacekeeping partner were harassed (both physically and verbally) a total of about 20 times from at least that many people. I would say that some of the people doing the harassing were not students that I recognized, but the majority were people I know are students. Interestingly enough, the ONLY people who were stopped by onlookers or security were people who were not students. So rest assured, Oberlin, even if you place a racist and classist ban on “outsiders,” there will still be assaults and harassment and perpetrators will still not be held accountable.
Additionally, I think it’s very interesting that the ONLY crimes that ever get an “alleged” put before them are rapes. Way to go in not believing survivors. There aren’t “alleged” bikes stolen or “alleged” men selling magazines. We believe people when they say that anything else has been stolen. But we do not believe people when they say that their bodies and their safety have been stolen. Thanks for contributing to rape culture.
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