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Sexual Assault Case At UVA Raises Attention on College Campuses Everywhere

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Fairfield chapter.

In the midst of many colleges and universities having sexual assault issues, all eyes are curerntly on the University of Virginia. “Jackie,” a victim of gang rape, came forward years after her assault to Rolling Stone. She explained that she was taken to a date party at the Phi Psi frat by an upperclassman whom she worked with. However, as he took her up to his room, she was pushed into the pitch black and was soon grabbed by multiple frat brothers. When she tried to fight back, she was beaten and raped for three hours. She soon realized that her rapists were pledges, forced to rape her in order to become a brother in that fraternity. One boy, who she knew from class, looked at her like he was going to be sick, she described, and told her date that he couldn’t “get it up.” So what happened next? They gave him a beer bottle to use instead.

As if this scene wasn’t horrific enough, the campus at UVA is so run by fraternities and sororities that when Jackie called her friends for help, they argued that Jackie shouldn’t report it for fear of not being able to get into parties anymore. Her so-called friends debated saying, “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.” So Jackie didn’t report it. She silently suffered with the memories of her assault, and was forced to see her rapists regularly around campus.

At the end of her freshman year, “Jackie” went to Dean Eramo, who is in charge of all sexual assault cases at UVA. Jackie had heard that Dean Eramo was praised by girls that had been through assaults and after telling her own story, she was given some options. She could file a complaint to the police, she could have a “formal resolution” with a jury of students and faculty and a dean as judge, or an “informal resolution,” in which Jackie could simply face her attackers in Eramo’s presence and tell them how she felt. Collegiettes, think about what you would want to do if you were in Jackie’s position. I know personally none of those seem like good options to me.

People are starting to realize that schools are pretending to be on the victim’s side in order to stop them from reporting the incident to the police. Jackie started to dig around, but found nothing. In the last year, 38 incidents were reported to Eramo, but only 9 went on to the police, and the other 29 vanished. That means 29 girls who were raped on UVA’s campus, never received justice.

The article goes into depth about the school, their policies, and their lack of action to take back the control and safety on their campus. It is important that we get educated and get angry as fellow collegiettes. It is not fair that as men and women we cannot feel safe on our own campuses and if something were to happen, we should be assured that justice will be served and our schools will support us. 

I'm a Communication major, double minor in Professional Writing and Spanish at Fairfield University.I love having a good time, dogs, tattoos and making people laugh. That's pretty much it.
Danielle was previously the Deputy Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw social and content strategy, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, news, and entertainment. Prior to joining Her Campus, Danielle worked at House Beautiful as Senior Lifestyle Editor, directing and producing feature videos and stories. Danielle also served as Snapchat Editor at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the brands daily Snapchat Discover channel. In 2016, she launched Cosmo Bites — which is now the official food and beverage vertical at Cosmopolitan. That same year, Danielle was named as a Rising Star in the digital media industry by FOLIO Magazine. Danielle got her start in digital media by launching the Her Campus chapter at Fairfield University in 2014, where she acted as Campus Correspondent for 2.5 years, before graduating with a degree in English and creative writing. She enjoys wine, food, and long walks through HomeGoods. Follow Danielle on Instagram!