Saturday, December 12, 2015

I Look About, and I Wonder, "Just Who?"

As I have mentioned before, I'm back in college again (yes, as an undergraduate student), and as look around in class, in the halls, in the library, with the students I help as an unofficial tutor, I wonder, just which ones have been assaulted.

Because I know the stats, I have been the person who has been asked for help. I have seen too many go to campus or city police and either get the insinuation that either it was their own fault ("had you been drinking?" "what clothes were you wearing?") or that it had been consensual but she had "morning after remorse". Or that, because she had had sex with her assaulter before, *this* time it wasn't "really rape." Or that it really had never happened at all. And if something *is* done, it gets downgraded to "simple" assault on a plea, or, in the academic environment, the assaulter is under academic suspension for a semester, but isn't barred from the college grounds, where they foment gossip against the person who was attacked and show up around them in an effort to intimidate them.

I want to see their attackers punished, and to let these women (it has only been women who I have spoken to) go on with their lives. But it doesn't seem to work that way. Yeah, it's no surprise that only in 5 gets reported, and that fewer of those reports get acted upon. And you sit there, and you wonder, morbidly, like watching a train wreck:"Just who?".

This diatribe has been prompted by the recent revelation, by Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, that she had been raped at the age of 19, and had never reported her attack.