Originally Posted on June 21, 2012 | NWLC.ORG
Posted by: Dana Bolger, Outreach Intern
After-rape is to be consumed by emptiness, isolation, fear, shame, and anger.
And after-rape at college is to be confronted by my rapist every day—on the quad, in the library, at breakfast. It is to be ceaselessly reminded of the moments in which power and control were stripped from me, in which I had no option but to let go and resign myself to the fact that this was really happening.
I was raped my sophomore year of college by a male student at my school. In the weeks after the assault, he followed me around campus, physically blocked me from going up the steps into my dorm, and threatened my friends. One Friday at three in the morning, he tried to break into my room while I sat terrified inside.
The rape and harassment changed everything for me. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I stopped studying. School was no longer on my radar screen. I was just trying to make it from one day to the next. I considered dropping out.
I found out about Title IX by chance, through a lawyer friend. She told me, “Title IX is not just about sports. It says your college can’t make you leave school because you were raped and feel unsafe. They’re supposed to make sure the campus is not a sexually hostile environment.”
It seemed so sensible once she’d said it, but I’d never heard anything about my supposed right to a safe educational environment ever before.
Turns out, Title IX grants survivors of sexual assault a number of rights, by requiring schools to: