1 in 5 women are survivors of campus sexual violence. Someone in your life has been a victim of rape on a college campus. You may know who that is—or that person may have never told you, because they are afraid of being blamed for having done something to deserve the crime committed against them.
Research shows that the trauma of rape has an adverse effect on victims’ memories of sexual trauma. The research of Dr. Rebecca Campbell of Michigan State University shows that rape victims who survive trauma can often have difficulty consolidating the details of the experience and manifest discrepancies in their recounting of what happened to them. The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence therefore does not take minor discrepancies in certain details of “Jackie’s” story as any reason to begin doubting that she experienced horrific sexual violence by a number of perpetrators.
No victim of rape should be afraid to seek help or seek justice. The UVA story, as reported in Rolling Stone was shocking to many—but not to those who work with sexual assault survivors. Most victims of rape fear reporting the crime because they are afraid that no one will believe them. Too many victims of rape suffer debilitating PTSD and depression afterwards that makes them afraid to trust others with such a terribly personal, traumatically dehumanizing story. “Jackie” told her story to Rolling Stone and now, due to Rolling Stone’s poor journalistic judgment, she has been put on trial in the media, instead of her rapists being put on trial in a court of law.
Whatever mistakes Rolling Stone made in reporting the story of rape at UVA, “Jackie” should not have to pay the price. “Jackie” has already suffered the trauma of rape. Her suitemate at the time of the incident wrote a public letter saying “Jackie’s” story is not a hoax: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/m/blog/on-sexual-assault-letters-from-the-community/2014/12/a-letter-from-a-friend-jackies-story-is-not-a-hoax
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