Why I Still Believe Rape Survivors

December 7, 2014 10:41 PM

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A now ubiquitous article in Rolling Stone released just two weeks ago has and continues to raise important issues pertaining to how rape cases tend to play out, both at UVA and in our society at large. As people begin to question the integrity of the journalist who broke this story, the veracity of the survivor, and whether this whole issue should ever have been raised in the first place, there are many lessons we can all learn today and as this story continues to unfold. First, many people who have a vested interest in maintaining their reputation will stop at nothing -- including disparaging a gang rape survivor -- to keep it. Second, Post Traumatic Stress leads many to behave in ways that are difficult to understand. Third, our culture needs to shift from doubting the word of a survivor to being seriously critical about the expressed denials of accused felons.

In the incident that has so galvanized the attention of the public recently, several of "Jackie's" alleged friends are reported to have refused to take her to the hospital for fear of the repercussions to Jackie's reputation, and to their own chances of attending fraternity parties. This callous dis...

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