Simpson student shares lasting effects of rape

Simpson student shares lasting effects of rape

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

I have always been a firm believer in the idea that everyone needs to tell their story. Whether their story is about accomplishing a personal goal or a story of sheer triumph and beating the odds, these stories are what makes us unique as people and are what shapes us as human beings.

The story I am going to tell you is not a story of personal accomplishment or triumph. This story is about a girl who thought she was safe. This is a story that is shared between many, but hardly ever mentioned to the public. This is the story of a very good friend of mine and how she was raped a year ago.

My friend, who shall remain nameless, was an average college student. She was a good student and like many students here at Simpson, she was from a very small town of approximately 5,500 people. Like every other student, she enjoyed hanging out with friends ,with or without alcohol, and she was just trying to go to college and have a little fun like everyone else.

Then her life changed in a single night.

“Me and some friends were in my dorm room and we were drinking, and we were getting ready to go to a fraternity because there was a registered party,” she said.

After a fun night of dancing at the party, my friend went back to her room by herself and fell asleep on her futon.

A short while later the two friends she was with came back to the room with someone else.

“One friend was on the phone and the other lay on the couch,” she said. “The guy that came in asked me if he could sit on the futon, and I said that was okay.”

My friend said that while he was sitting on the couch, they were talking, and she really didn’t think anything of it. Then she passed out.

“We were talking and then I passed out and when I woke up, he was groping me and then I passed out again,” she said.

My friend felt comfortable since she was in her own room and had known the male student since her freshman year at Simpson.

Let’s also keep in mind that she did not give any kind of consent to any sexual acts, and she was unconscious. It is apparent that he did in fact violate her.

“When I woke up, my shirt was off and my pants were undone and that was all that I remembered.”

When I first heard this story, I had to ask myself what would give someone the right to violate another person in this manner.

Then, I grew angry and disgusted that this is happening to girls all over the country as well as here at Simpson.

Already this school year, there have been some rape/sexual assault incidents reported in the school’s security log, and most are still under investigation. I don’t know about any other women on campus, but this scares me. It makes me think about all the other women on campus who have been violated by some jerk because he feels he can do whatever he wants and not have to own up for it.

As for my friend, she did report her incident to the college and to the Indianola Police Department. The male student who violated her did receive punishment.

“His punishment was to be on probation for six months, but it happened in April and it included the summer, so basically, he really wasn’t on probation,” she said.

She also mentioned that he had to go to counseling for approximately a month and he also was required to complete a program based on sexual harassment during May Term. She is unsure if that took place.

My friend has been able to cope with her sexual assault with the help of her friends and family, but she will admit that it was a struggle to not blame herself for what happened.

“I didn’t think much of it a first because I had been drinking,” she said. “But the more I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t tell him to do it, and I didn’t invite him back to my room.”

Even though she is older and has attempted to put the past behind her, she still feels uncomfortable when she sees him on campus. She often looks down at her feet and is overcome with feelings of shame.

“When I go out with friends and he comes in, I leave,” she said. “I don’t like to look at him, and I don’t like to be around him.”

It is apparent that some changes need to be made to the school policies of sexual harassment and assault. I feel that Simpson does not work effectively in supporting the victim when she brings the allegation of rape of assault to the attention of Simpson Security or administrators.

I don’t think it’s right that on a campus predominately made up of women, we are still afraid to walk home from Dunn Library at night. I don’t think its right that when a woman is raped, her previous sexual activity and alcohol consumption are factored into the equation. Rape is rape, and it is WRONG!!!

I do realize that the people in Student Development and Security encourage any woman or man who is raped or sexually assaulted to bring the case forward so it can be dealt with. At the same time, I think they should also take into account the fragile feelings of the victim and realize that even after everything is said and done, the victim will still see the assailant on campus and may even have class with them. I don’t think anyone is prepared to handle a situation like that.

As any man or woman who has been affected by rape will say, it is extremely important to come out and tell your story. It is important to tell people and report what happened so the situation can be solved, and it will also bring more awareness to the issue. We as a campus need to come together and let those who have violated a woman or man know that it is not acceptable and that they can’t get away with it.