An Account of Sexual Assault at Amherst College
Issue   |   Wed, 10/17/2012 - 00:07

TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people.

When you’re being raped time does not stop. Time does not speed up and jump ahead like it does when you are with friends. Instead, time becomes your nemesis; it slows to such an excruciating pace that every second becomes an hour, every minute a year, and the rape becomes a lifetime.

On May 25, 2011, I was raped by an acquaintance in Crossett Dormitory on Amherst College campus.

Some nights I can still hear the sounds of his roommates on the other side of the door, unknowingly talking and joking as I was held down; it is far from a pleasant wakeup call.

I had always fancied myself a strong, no-nonsense woman, whose intense independence was cultivated by seventeen harrowing years of emotional abuse in my backwoods home. May 25th temporarily shattered that self-image and left me feeling like the broken victim that I had never wanted to be.

Everything I had believed myself to be was gone in 30 minutes.

I did not report the rape after it occurred. Almost immediately after the rape I flew off to California, got lost in the beauty of the redwoods, the phenomenal art, and meeting the most unique people I’d ever beheld.

I blocked the rape from my mind and tried to convince myself that it hadn’t happened; that it couldn’t have happened. But there was no denying the facts.

One week before I was supposed to fly back East, everything rushed over and consumed me. My memory had been restored and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to hold myself together for that year, let alone for the upcoming three years.

When I returned to Amherst for my sophomore year, I designed a simple plan of attack for surviving: Business as usual combined with a new mantra I will NOT cry.

First semester passed relatively well, there were rocky times, but I kept it together. I masked fear with smiles. I mastered the art of avoiding prying questions. I drowned myself in work and extracurricular activities in order to hide my personal pain. I was unnervingly good at playing the role of well-adjusted sophomore.

It was inevitable though that this masquerade would become too overwhelming and that my façade would shatter.

In February twisted fate decided that I had to work with him on a fundraiser. E-mails. Stopping me in the gym and at the dining hall. Smirks. Winks. Pats on my back. It was all too much.

My masquerade was over.

I broke down and for the next several months, he won.

I spent most of my spring semester an emotional wreck. I saw his face everywhere I went. I heard his voice mocking me in my own head. I imagined new rapists hiding behind every shower curtain and potted plant. I bandaged the situation by throwing myself into more work and by resolutely refusing to acknowledge that I was anything but well adjusted.

Eventually I reached a dangerously low point, and, in my despondency, began going to the campus’ sexual assault counselor. In short I was told: No you can’t change dorms, there are too many students right now. Pressing charges would be useless, he’s about to graduate, there’s not much we can do. Are you SURE it was rape? It might have just been a bad hookup…You should forgive and forget.

How are you supposed to forget the worst night of your life?

I didn’t know what to do any more. For four months I continued wandering around campus, distancing from my friends, and going to counseling center. I was continuously told that I had to forgive him, that I was crazy for being scared on campus, and that there was nothing that could be done. They told me: We can report your rape as a statistic, you know for records, but I don’t recommend that you go through a disciplinary hearing. It would be you, a faculty advisor of your choice, him, and a faculty advisor of his choice in a room where you would be trying to prove that he raped you. You have no physical evidence, it wouldn’t get you very far to do this.

Hours locked in a room with him and being called a liar about being raped? No thank you, I could barely handle seeing him from the opposite end of campus; I knew I couldn’t handle that level of negativity.

When May rolled around, everything finally came to a head. My “Anniversary” was coming up and all of the terror that I had intermittently felt that year became one giant ball of horror that filled my life. He was still out there. He could get to me again. If I told anyone he would find out and do it again. No, no, no, no, no.

For my independent studies photography course I produced a series of 20 self-portraits representing myself before, during, and after the rape.

I showed them to my classmates. Their words stung like hornets: You look funny…I don’t get it, why are you so upset?

I went to the counseling center, as they always tell you to do, and spoke about how genuinely sad I was at Amherst, how much I wanted to leave, and how scared I was on a daily basis. “I should just drink darkroom developer or something…”

Twenty minutes later campus police was escorting me into an ambulance. They were even less understanding: There’s something seriously wrong with you; you’re not healthy and normal right now. No, you can’t say no. You HAVE to go, but don’t worry, you won’t have to be there too long. This is for your own good. Amherst cares about you and wants you to get better.

On May 5th I entered Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Emergency Room. Three hours after sitting curled up and terrified on a hospital bed I was admitted into the Psychiatric Ward for depression and suicidal thoughts. The doctor was skeptical to say the least: I really don’t think that a school like Amherst would allow you to be raped. And why didn’t you tell anybody? That just doesn’t make any sense...Your anger and sadness right now seem unfounded and irrational, someone your age should not be this sad—it’s not normal. We’ll be admitting you in a few minutes, they’ll take good care of you. They’ll get you some drugs and they’ll make you feel happy again…If you don’t willingly enter we’ll have a judge issue a court order legally forcing you to stay there. Trust us, this is for your own good.

So much for not having to stay.

The Psychiatric Ward was a lovely place: the top floor of the hospital, bare white walls, Spartan furnishings, and two stainless steel locked doors at either end of the corridor making sure that anyone who goes in, stays in. Doctors and Nurse Practitioners wondered around the bare hallways checking in on myself and my fellow patients—every fifteen minutes they recorded where we were, what we were doing, and whether we looked happy. In the morning we were given our drugs; if you didn’t take them you would have to be there longer. It was in our best interest to take them, so they told us.

During the day we discussed our thoughts and feelings, our inhibitions, our strengths, but more often than not we did nothing.

When you’re forced to sit and think about yourself for hours on end, you go through four stages of existence.

Stage 1: Hysteria—Characterized by denying that anything is wrong, “I’m perfectly fine” and “I don’t belong here,” are common phrases during this stage.
Stage 2: Numb and Ornery—You have finally realized that something is wrong with you, but you are overwhelmed and confused about how to go about fixing your problem. You therefore decide not to do anything.
Stage 3: Determination—You realize that the only way you’re allowed to leave the Ward is if you “get better” and “solve your problems.” Every fiber of your being thus goes into these two tasks.
Stage 4: Enlightenment—Everything falls into place. Your mind is no longer an oppressive hell and it begins to function again. The outside world no longer seems so daunting.

You are then permitted to leave.

My Enlightenment occurred when I least expected it. Four days into the Ward, I was sitting in on an introductory Substance Abuse and Mental Health Rehabilitation meeting since there was absolutely nothing better to do. To start us off, the meeting leader decided to have everyone go around and talk about why we were on the Ward. We went around the circle: hours in rehab, drug relapses, alcoholism, abusive boyfriends, being an abusive boyfriend, and escapism from the stresses of daily life. The stories weren’t the superficial accounts that you read in a person’s medical file; they were real life. Every problem, every ounce of frustration, every personal tick was laid bare that evening. And everyone was open, not proud, just blunt and sincere; the desire to improve their lives was palpable.

Over the past four days, I had yet to touch upon “what I was in for,” my story was a mystery to everyone around me.

As my fellow patients went around the circle it all suddenly clicked. I realized why I never spoke about the rape, why I had refused to tell my school friends, why I had totally broken down, why I had steadily degenerated over the past few months. I was ashamed, and because of this shame I could not begin healing.

“Silence has the rusty taste of shame,” a fellow survivor once wrote.

I had been far too silent, far too ashamed.

That night I told them everything.

For the first time I told my story and I was not ashamed.

Later that night, as I lay in bed—still in an adrenaline induced state of wakefulness—I heard my roommate whisper my name, and then, a question.

“Are you still awake?”


“Thought so…”

A long pause. She’d been in the meeting.

What was she thinking? What would she say?

“I just wanted to tell you, I…I know how it feels. My uncle raped me when I was 15. The police never arrested him. Rape “wasn’t their top priority.” It still hurts…You’re incredibly brave to talk about it…I rarely do.”

She was 42 years old.

I did not sleep. That night I realized that from then on I could not stay silent—if not for myself, then for my roommate.

I had reached the apex of Stage 4.

I decided that once I was released I would continue with my plans to study abroad that upcoming semester; I would be rejuvenated when I returned to campus in the winter, ready to take on the world and fight for survivor rights.

I would be strong again.

From the moment I woke, this plan hit one pitfall after another; a domino effect of roadblocks that continued for the next three months.

I sat at breakfast in bright spirits, attempting to carry on a conversation with a manic depressive woman who rarely talked. I was so genuinely happy that her lack of responses didn’t even bother me—I just talked at her.

In the middle of my stimulating conversation my harried looking social worker suddenly strode into the dining room and headed purposefully over to me.

She looked grim and angry. “They’re trying to prevent you from going back.”

I was shocked.

She began rattling off the Administration’s policy regarding students released from psychiatric care. In order for students to be allowed back they had to have parental supervision while on campus in order to make sure that the student did not relapse into substance abuse again (the most common reason for student admittance into the Ward). This meant that a parent would stay in a hotel near campus and would then follow their child around for two weeks until the “all clear” period was reached. “And since you don’t have parents…”

She trailed off awkwardly and began to resolutely examine the upper left-hand corner of the dining room.

I must have been speechless for a good minute as a bizarre series of emotions plowed me over.

Shock to incredulity, back to shock, to sadness to anger, back to shock again, then back to sadness, and then an overwhelming amount of shame and embarrassment settled over me. I’m not worthy of even going back; that’s how disgusting I am. I can’t even step foot on campus…

Panic welled up inside of me.

Did this mean I was trapped on the Ward forever? God, no, I couldn’t handle that. I wasn’t crazy!

Claustrophobia and paranoia dropped on top of me and I wildly scanned the room. I met my roommate’s eyes. She was looking at me with worry: What’s wrong?

The room stopped spinning, the walls went back to their normal locations, I could breathe again, and now I was angry. I told her flat out: Let me get this straight. I was raped on their campus. I had an emotional breakdown because I didn’t feel safe and felt harassed on their campus. I went to their counseling center, like they told me to, and I told them how I was feeling. They decided that I should be sent to the hospital. And now they won’t allow me back on their campus? They allow rapists back on campus, but they won’t allow the girl who was raped back? The girl who did nothing wrong.

She told me: Well, when you put it that way…

The maniacal grin on my social worker’s face as she walked off was wonderful.

Needless to say, Amherst let me back on campus later that evening. Five days after being admitted, I was finally released from the Ward.

The car ride back to campus with my dean was, also needless to say, the most awkward car ride of my life. I looked at her: You know, I’m really glad that y’all let me back on campus, for a while there I was pretty worried and I was actually preparing an argument for why I should be allowed back…

Her response: No, no, no! That’s not what happened, you must have just misunderstood the situation! We’re so happy to have you back! Amherst is just such a wonderful place, we know you’ll be happy to be back!

A big misunderstanding, I was skeptical.

In the following days I decided that my best policy when dealing with Amherst at the moment would be “let’s let bygones be bygones.” I quickly forgave the Administration and focused on just being happy to be out. On the inside though I was still dripping with anger, shame, and embarrassment.

Several days after my release I had to defend my chance to study abroad. My chance to leave campus for the first time in 8 months, my chance to relax and heal in a new environment, my biggest chance to revive my love of Amherst, and my chance to move on in life by studying what I truly love. The prospect had gotten me through the most frigid hours on the Ward and I was convinced that it would be the perfect way to continue my healing process.

I half-heartedly murmured, Your actions were understandable. I understand your policy when dealing with depression and students coming out of the Psychiatric Ward…during the meeting that included my dean and several of the campus counselors. Relief instantly flashed across all of their faces and the atmosphere rose in friendliness.

Then: The Ward was the best thing that could have happened to me. I have re-found my love of life and my desire to heal. I will never be 100% better, but I no longer feel like a victim. I’m a survivor, I’m strong, and I think that studying abroad will help me continue healing. When I return in the winter I’ll have a greater understanding of myself and a greater appreciation of Amherst.

They responded with enthusiasm: Of course! Very coherent explanation. You seem much happier, which is wonderful! We agree that going abroad and getting off campus will do you good.

Study abroad here I come!

I felt genuinely happy for the first time in a year, and I could not wait to head out.

At Amherst though, things are never that easy.

A few weeks after my release from the Ward I had a routine check-in with my dean to make sure that I was still doing well. I was excited to be leaving soon, and I must have looked quite content, sitting in her office with a million watt smile and bright eyes. I began to rattle on about how nice the warm weather was, how beautiful commencement had been, how great life was, on and on. She seemed distracted: Nod, nod…Mhmmm…Well, excellent! I’m so glad to hear that you’re excited about the upcoming summer here. I know how much you wanted to study abroad and how much work you must’ve put into it, but really, it’s for the best. Africa is quite traumatizing, what with those horrible third-world conditions: disease…huts…lions! You’ll be much better off here at Amherst where we can watch over you. It will give you some time to think about…you know…that…unfortunate incident…

My face was blank. “I’m supposed to go to Cape Town, South Africa…” Her response broke me down: Yes dear, I know. You were supposed to study in Africa. It’s all for the best that you aren’t though.

No one ever told me flat out that I would no longer be studying abroad. Not even the study abroad dean told me. I scheduled a meeting with her for two days after the meeting with my dean.

A few minutes after exchanging pleasantries she asked: What are your plans for the summer now that you’re on campus?

For the month of June I was decrepit, nothing could perk me up. I returned to feeling the embarrassment and shame that had consumed me before going onto the Ward. If I hadn’t told anyone about what happened I’d be abroad…If I had been stronger…If I wasn’t such a failure…This is all my fault, I really am just a broken, polluted piece of shit…

Living was difficult. Each day I woke up and wandered around in a daze. At night I stared blank faced at a wall and curled up in my chair in a fetal position. I couldn’t talk with people. If I talk with them they might become infected with my dirtiness.

I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping. I secretly hoped that one day on a run my heart would just stop and no one would have to see me again. I wasn’t worth anything anyway.
I continued having to meet with my dean; she blamed my sadness on not being allowed to study abroad, but I knew that it wasn’t that simple. I could live with not being allowed to go to South Africa at the moment, the country would be there for a while, but being forced to stay on campus in a dorm populated with men I did not know, that was the real psychological issue. Every time I told my dean that I didn’t feel safe on campus, that I wanted to be allowed to leave , or at least be put in a different dorm, I received the same unhelpful responses that I had received in February. They told me: You were lucky to be given a room here this summer in the first place, housing is tight right now and you really shouldn’t complain. All of your fear is ungrounded, Amherst is one of the safest places imaginable…If we let you leave campus we won’t know what mental and emotional place you’ll exist in when you return in September; you could become completely unstable! At Amherst we can monitor you, and, if need be, strongly suggest time off when the school year rolls around…

I felt like a prisoner, or, more accurately, like a harem girl. My jail was luxurious and openair, I was free to move about, the ruling power judged my worth on a weekly basis, and I was constantly reminded how lucky I was to be there.

One night, after a particularly rough meeting with my dean (I just don’t understand why you’ve been so angry throughout all of this. You have no reason to be angry about anything.), I was curled up on my floor—I wasn’t thinking, I didn’t feel anything.

I went over to the mirror on the back of my door and stared. What had happened to the girl who had come off of the Ward so empowered and strong; the girl who decided to no longer be silent and feel shamed? Where had she gone?

I went over to my desk and picked up a brochure I had been given about a survivor center at UMass Amherst. I gave an exaggerated sigh. Might as well…I called the number and made an appointment for the next day.

I went back to the mirror and stared at myself again.

For the next 15 minutes I repeated: “Silence has the rusty taste of shame.”

I walked over to my computer, typed up an email, hesitated for a second, and then pressed send.

I had just sent my entire sports team an email-rant about my rape and subsequent breakdown at the end of spring.

It was about time people began to realize that Amherst wasn’t just majestic dorms and world-class professors.

It was about time I resumed the silent pact that I had made to my roommate on the Ward.

I will not be quiet.

The next few weeks were a blur of unending days spent resolutely working to feel better (A friend told me: You can’t help other people if you feel like shit).

I was able to sleep again. I ate more. I went to free therapy sessions. I wrote and mindlessly colored in order to ground myself. I obsessively made lists of all the things imaginable. I joined a survivor group. I cried less and smiled a bit more.

I started healing.

It took a month of hard work until I was noticeably doing better. My friends, my therapist, my coworkers, and my fellow survivor group members all started commenting on how much healthier and happier I looked. I still felt uncomfortable and oppressed while surrounded by men on campus, but I was no longer afraid to leave my room after 7 p.m. I was determined to love Amherst again.

Life was tolerable.

Early July and I had another meeting with my dean: You look like you’re doing better today. Well done, I’m so glad to see this kind of improvement! I think it’s safe to assume that you can come back next semester, and in that regard I think that it’s time that we talk about your time at Amherst over the next two years…I know you want to do African Studies through the Five Colleges, but I don’t think I can support that decision. Africa is very traumatizing and I think that studying Africa is just a way for you to relive your real-life traumas; it’s just not a good place to be studying.

Over the next thirty minutes several more restrictions were laid out: no Five College classes this upcoming year, no study abroad in the spring, definitely no senior year thesis, I would have to meet with a counselor twice a week, and friends off campus would have to be pushed to the wayside. She told me: Amherst is the only place that matters, and, really, you don’t have a family, so where else would you go? Amherst is the only place that you can be.

At the end of our conversation I grunted out a vapid response and headed straight to my room. I sat on my bed, million-mile-gazed at the wall, and thought.

What was the point of staying at Amherst? I had been stuck on campus for eleven months straight; each day had been more challenging and emotionally draining than the previous one. I had been feeling better recently, but each time I met with my dean I felt more emotionally distraught than I had beforehand. Her comments reminded me that in the Administration’s eyes I was the most base individual: a poor and parentless humanities major who was the school’s token-Deep-Southerner. I was sullied, blameworthy, and possibly insane.

I made a Pros and Cons of Amherst List.

The Pro List had seven items.

The Con List had twenty-three items.

On July 14th I made one of the hardest decisions of my life.

I was going to withdraw from Amherst.

That next week I threw myself into finding a way out. Plans were made, plans were broken, Plan B was made, and finally Plan B was successful!

I did not tell the Administration for fear that they would somehow sabotage me. It was probably paranoid, but after being prevented from leaving campus multiple times I was not going to take any chances. The conversation went similarly to this:

“I’m withdrawing from Amherst.”

That was my greeting to my dean when I met with her in late July.

The look of complete shock on her face was priceless. When she recovered: So you’re taking a semester off? That’s perfectly ok, many survivors do, I think it’s best that you do what you…

No, I’m withdrawing, permanently. I ain’t planning on ever coming back. I’m going to transfer to another school after taking a semester off to travel around.

You can’t…You…Nobody withdraws. Where are you going to go? You don’t have parents. What are you going to do?

I’m working on a Dude Ranch in Wyoming.

…I didn’t think you’d be able to figure out a plan…Well, we technically won’t withdraw you from the school until three years have passed. After three years we’ll double-check to make sure that you really want to withdraw and then we’ll remove you from our current-students system.

No, I just want you to withdraw me. I don’t want to come back, I don’t want to be affiliated with your school anymore. I’m sick of this place.

I think you need to meet with our sexual assault counselor again, you’re way too angry right now and not thinking clearly. I have a feeling you’ll change your mind and come back. Amherst is one of the best schools out there, it will be a transfer down unless you go to an Ivy…

You know, I have I feeling that I won’t want to come back, but that’s just a hunch.

As my dean suggested, I met with our sexual assault counselor a few days later. The meeting was uncharacterizeable by one word, but bizarre might be the closest description: This is a bad idea, you’re not thinking straight.

I didn’t understand this. I’d been thinking about this for quite a while; I was unhappy at Amherst and I didn’t understand why I should stay at a place where I was absolutely miserable. There are other places in the world.

The next two hours was a hodgepodge of topics: Your lack of parental support makes you emotionally volatile and prevents you from following through with decisions that you make.

Apparently I had decided not to study abroad. Then there was bizarre ‘concern:’You don’t look very healthy. Have you been eating? I think you might have an eating disorder. You know there’s a great clinic in Northhampton where we can send you for in-patient eating disorder treatment.

I don’t have an eating disorder; I used to have one, I know what they’re like. I don’t eat a lot because I can’t afford to buy food.

Then the ranch came up: Do you realize how difficult working on a Dude Ranch will be? The people in Wyoming are different from the people at Amherst, they won’t be well-educated, and they won’t understand you. You’re going to a backwards place. Do you realize how bad it will be?

Yes, because the rest of the US is filled with ignorant savages who haven’t been saved by the light of Amherst. How would I ever survive?

To the counselor’s great surprise, these stellar arguments did not convince me to stay at Amherst. I became even more resolute about my decision to leave, and decided to talk with the Victim Rights Law Center, a pro-bono law firm based in Boston that my survivor group had recommended to me several weeks earlier. My preliminary intake with the VRLC was quite eye-opening: Oh Amherst? Yeah, unfortunately I know Amherst all too well. I’ve been down there many times to deal with the administration and their constant mistreatment of survivors. Our law firm keeps trying to force them to change but they just don’t seem to understand, they keep doing the same old thing.

Amherst has almost 1800 students; last year alone there were a minimum of 10 sexual assaults on campus. In the past 15 years there have been multiple serial rapists, men who raped more than five girls, according to the sexual assault counselor. Rapists are given less punishment than students caught stealing. Survivors are often forced to take time off, while rapists are allowed to stay on campus. If a rapist is about to graduate, their punishment is often that they receive their diploma two years late.

I eventually reported my rapist.

He graduated with honors.

I will not graduate from Amherst.

The stories and statistics are miles long in regards to sexual assault on campus. My story is far from unique, and, compared to some of the stories I have heard, is tame.
The more that I learn about Amherst’s policy toward sexual assault and survivors in general, the more relief I feel in deciding to transfer. How could I stay at a school who had made my healing process not just difficult, but impossible? How could I stand knowing that the Administration promotes silence? How could I spend the next two years made to feel dirty and at fault?

I could not.

At one point I hated Amherst with an indescribable amount of fury, but I do not hate the school anymore. Amherst took a lot from me, but they gave me some of the greatest gifts imaginable: self-confidence, my closest friends, intellectual curiosity, and endless personal strength. For these things I am forever grateful. For everything else, I stand back and behold the college with a feeling of melancholia.

The fact that such a prestigious institution could have such a noxious interior fills me with intense remorse mixed with sour distaste. I am sickened by the Administration’s attempts to cover up survivors’ stories, cook their books to discount rapes, pretend that withdrawals never occur, quell attempts at change, and sweep sexual assaults under a rug. When politicians cover up affairs or scandals the masses often rise up in angry protestations and call for a more transparent government. What is the difference between a government and the Amherst College campus? Why can’t we know what is really happening on campus? Why should we be quiet about sexual assault?

“Silence has the rusty taste of shame.”

There is no reason shame should be a school’s policy.

UPDATE: President Carolyn "Biddy" Martin has released a statement concerning this article and the follow-up steps being taken by the administration regarding sexual assault:

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 10:47

25 years ago my wife was a freshman at Mt. Holyoke. She had problems with her roommate and could not stay in her room. Her RA was very nice and solved the problem by "allowing her" to sleep in her room and she did for most of her first semester. Scared and alone my wife saw no other way out...

It happens at all schools to those who are vulnerable... predators are male and female ... Mt Holyoke and Smith women: it DOES happen there too!

Fellow NESCACer #2 (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 10:51

This is an incredibly sad article and I wish the writer/survivor all the best for healing and success in life. There are, as she states, a plethora of reasons small schools such as Amherst are great places to receive an education. One of them is preparation for life after college, not only one's professional life, but also personal. Coddling, sheltering, and failing to hold individuals responsible for actions in any domain constitute failures by a school to adequately prepare students for the real world. Furthermore, withholding badly-needed services for the survivor also fails to provide education about resources that exist in these awful situations.

The school did ALL its students a disservice in this situation.

Rex (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:01

The bigger issue here is NOT that she *may* have been raped; the bigger is issue is that she REFUSED to DO her DUTY and REPORT IT IMMMEDIATELY !!!!!!! There is NO EXCUSE for failure to report!!!

Morgan S (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 18:20

Clearly you have no idea what it's like to be a rape victim, or the shame involved. Especially when everyone's first reaction when you report it is to say 'Well what about the man? We don't want to accuse an innocent man, how do we know she's telling the truth?'

That is why rape is under reported. She has no duty to anyone but herself.

Fellow 'CAC-er (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:07

This piece demonstrates the strength that you have. I'm both a victim and the friend of a victim, and I understand how hard it is to talk about something like this. Know that you're not alone in this, and Amherst's response was insensitive and just plain wrong. Any school would be lucky to have you and I wish you all the best in your healing process.

And thank you for speaking about this. Hopefully your story can make sure this doesn't happen to anyone again - at Amherst or anywhere.

anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:22

We support you anie, your words are moving and powerful.

post-grad (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:29 empowering it is to see this. I went through a similar process--the rape, the denial, and the disintegration of my sense of self. Having to see my rapist on campus--his nudge nudge wink wink attitude. I was not an Amherst student, rather an undergrad in New York City, but the circumstances and administrative reactions are nauseatingly familiar. I think this is the first time I've actually written in a public forum about my rape experience.
Thank you.

Marlboro Colleg... (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:46

You are an incredible person. Thank you so much for your bravery. I wish you only the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:51

More people should be as brave as you. Shame kills us.

Lucifer (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:16

Hope you get well sooooooon. May the strength be with you.

Anon (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:44

I know there are many rape victims reading this. I feel very sorry for you all, and detest rape too. Reading the many furious comments has raised this issue though:

If the victim remains silent, what can the authorities do? Keep in mind that not all women are kind and good, and some may twist your suggestion to their own ends.

Keep in mind many men would beat up a rapist, should they catch him in the act.

Amherst Alumna (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 19:33

I think you're right that there probably isn't a good punishment mechanism.

The clearer problem is that Angie was mistreated. Even if you can't punish the alleged rapist, you should treat the victim humanely and respectfully.

I wonder what happens when girls suggest going to the police. I don't think the administration suggests it, and I wonder whether it's discouraged.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:45

I do not understand this article.

Morgan (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:52

Stories like this make me proud and angry. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Society needs to be made aware that rape is not okay, and survivors feel the impact forever. I'm sure you have inspired someone to stop being silent.

Leon Edelman (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 13:05

With regard to the reported comment on the disadvantages of living in Wyoming it should be noted that one of Wyoming's citizens who happened to become one of the most popular Governors in their history was a graduate of the Class of 1973.

Jim (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 13:09

I'm an Amherst parent. I am certain my student and his many friends of both genders are deeply shocked and heartbroken over this tragedy. The school is going to take a huge hit, and it would be hard to deny that it deserves it (although there will always be a few yahoos who will).

I'd observe that in addition to basic common sense there are sound, well known clinical protocols for working with victims in the aftermath of such incidents. Among other things such good practices were designed, on the basis of training and experience, to avoid retraumatizing victims as happened routinely in the "bad old days". These apply not just to medical and therapeutic people, but also laymen with whatever kinds of working relationships with victims - in this instance teachers, deans, advisers, etc. It certainly appears that Amherst has exhibited both complete institutional ignorance of protocols and a dearth of common sense and humanity on the part of certain front line personnel. The ignorance of some individuals, even relatively high level ones, does not persuade me at this point in time that there was any institutional policy, sanctioned from the top, of sacrificing students like Angie to misconceived "institutional needs". A full investigation, with "consequences" as warranted, has been promised. Perhaps many questions will be better answered. But I would be surprised if the cesspool of indifference that some may currently suspect does in fact exist.

I fully expect that these unforgivable deficiencies will change, although too late for Angie. Even if the school were not now motivated to make the necessary changes, which I do not believe, the students, faculty, alums, town, and general public will not tolerate anything less than a full and transparent transformation.

Amherst is a wonderful - obviously far from perfect - institution. Notwithstanding this terrible failure, it is anything but the cold, unfeeling place it may appear right now. Great, accessible teachers. Countless wonderful students. A leader - if not the national leader - in throwing its considerable resources into an effort to create probably one of the most diverse and representative campuses in the world by socioeconomic status, race, and other prime criteria - e.g. average financial aid is 2/3 or more of total cost; 42% nonwhite. As I wrote, the hit it will take is deserved. I make no excuses for it. And I respect those who write in this awful moment that they would "never" tell anyone to apply there. But I do maintain that in the long run Amherst would not deserve that draconian a consequence on the basis of its overall institutional heart, record - and human imperfections.

Sharllo (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 13:15

It is a hard time for you. As for me, i cannot get that sort of feeling directly, but i will pray for you. Rape is terrible enough to destroy everything you've established once. Once upon a time,we all think that we can figure everything out,while when the time comes,we can just realize how small we are. I have a girlfriend, and,with no offense,maybe as lots part of males,i am terrified that she would suffer the same thing as you one day in the future.I have listed her a "do or do not" list but i dont think it would help. Once this nightmare happens,maybe the only thing we can do is to get used to it and come back to the life.I dont know what can i do for you and how i can make you a little bit happier,just get up and try to swept this down to the carpet.

Susan Rankin (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 14:11

I read one of the first comments that the rapist may not have realized he was raping... This is so absolutely correct and an unrecognized part of rape, particularly date rape.  As a mom of a boy with autism spectrum disorder, this is one of his possible undesirable outcomes that keeps me up at night. Indeed, sex education for girls needs to include training on making one's intentions very clear, since an increasing portion of young men out there  have neurological differences and can't imagine the young woman's intent is any different than theirs, can't read her body language,  have a very difficult time with transitions (shifting from "I'm having sex" to "I'm not having sex" is a huge transition!), etc. Until rape prevention programs recognize this they will not be successful.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:39

While I do believe in neurological difference and miscommunication existing in this world, I was angry to see that comment full of assumptions and saint-like "it was sad for the man too" conclusion. This was not a Lennie killed the mouse bc he didn't know his own strength and squeezed the mouse too hard scenario. Angie did not disclose details (which she should not need to) but I don't think this was a transition issue either. Have you not heard that many rapes are planned and not caused by hook ups changing their minds when they are about to start? She was held down! He also gave her triumphant smirks which indicates A. He is generally an over-confident entitled man who thinks no one would refuse him B. He was aware of what he has done and was happy to display his power to her and was proud of successfully scaring someone. A or B choose what you want but that's truly disgusting behavior. If body language is such an issue I hope you teach your son that the absence of no is not good enough and that he should straightforwardly ask and seek out a conscemt instead of relying on the subtle cues society suggests we communicate in to appear charming and suave.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:41

The boy was aware in this case and seemed to rejoice in his triumph of power.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 00:52

Susan, if you are concerned that your son will "not understand" that he is committing rape because he cannot read body language, then you need to take him to aggressive therapy. You should also keep him away from all women, or at least, prevent him from ever being alone with women. After all, he might rape them.

It is not a woman's responsibility to prevent your son from raping her. It is HIS responsibility to prevent himself from committing rape. You might help him with this by making it completely clear not simply that "no means no," but rather, that "yes means yes." Teach him to always, explicitly, ask for his partner's consent BEFORE he does anything. Permission to kiss, permission to touch, permission to undress, permission at every stage.

It is your son who has the challenge of different communication. Therefore, it is your son who must make up for his challenges and assume responsibility for his own behavior.

(Be advised, though, that even this will not prevent him from committing rape if he desires to commit rape. If he is physically or psychologically threatening to the person he is with, it is entirely possible that she will simply "close your eyes and wait for it to be over." When being raped or assaulted, the priority is to get through it, to survive. If you feel threatened, fighting back or yelling may just make it even worse.)

I realize you won't respond to this in a way that takes responsibility for your son's behavior, or that makes your son take responsibility for his behavior. But, I've said it anyway.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Wed, 10/31/2012 - 21:46

I understand. And I have a daughter with aspergers. She is the reverses... is an easy mark for predators and has already been date raped once. As a patent what do you do... Lock her away?

University juni... (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 14:32

Thank you so much for this artical. Getting your story out is the absolute best thing you could do for yourself and for other survivers. Getting the word out creates change to aid others. I am absolutely sickened by the way Amherst College treated you and other rape/sexual assault victims. These counselors, deans and health workers should all be fired and replaced by actual professionals who do their jobs instead of helping the college keep its squeaky clean reputation. How disgusting of them. I sincerely wish you all the best.

College Adminis... (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:22

I am horrified to hear how your campus treated you in the face of a rape situation. The Office of Civil Rights through the Department of Education enforces Title IX regulations about what college institutions are required to do if they know, or should have known, of a sexual assault or sexual harassment event. Your campus came no where close. They could lose all financial aid through the government or at the very least get a stiff fine from the government. I would strongly suggest that you partner up with the free legal team you spoke of in your article and hit the campus with a Title IX claim. This should never happen to any student!

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:40

Maybe if you would have called the authoritys and reported the alleged crime in a timely manner, then something could have been done about it. Of course he would graduate and go un punished...that's your fault. Its not your fault something terrible happened to you, but its your fault that he gets away with it.

Mary (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:49

Thank you, Angie, for your story. It is an important one to tell. Your story has already touched so many lives.

As a senior at Skidmore College, another small liberal arts school, I hope the administrators at my school, Amherst, and across the country take notice of this immediately.

Jessica (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:52

I am so sorry this happened to you. This also happened to me (at a different institution called SUNY Geneseo) and even pressing charges through the school did nothing too. The rapist still goes to my old school with a "deferred suspension" which is ridiculous and I transferred out. I am tired of these men getting away with it. I hope you are doing well, this year marks my one year anniversary. Reading this makes me feel less alone and empowered that you were so brave to tell your story to the world. Thanks.

Beth (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 16:36

First, you are amazing for sharing your story in such a public way. I wish that all survivors could muster that much courage. Second, I believe that you have done a very honorable thing by outing such a public and well-respected university on an issue where they deserve no respect. Amherst may be an excellent institution in most regards, but you have clearly shown that they fail in other regards. Hopefully the administration will acknowledge these discriminatory and hurtful practices and choose to correct them for the future. Unfortunately, that will never heal the hurt of so many Amherst students who have been raped and subsequently ignored or treated badly afterwards. And third, after reading your story, I wanted to post something that acknowledged you; however, I found a distasteful comment and attacked it instead. After doing so, I realized the multitude of others who have done the same. It started turning the discussion into a warzone. This should be your safe space, full of people who support you. And there are so many here who do support you (including those who went on the defense). I hope you can read their words with love and sincerity and take them with you the rest of your life. I'm assuming that you are in your early 20s, which means you are young and have endless possibilities. I hate to think that your trials aren't even close to being over. But you are brave and you will always come out on top.
Beth (survivor)

Michele Zapple (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 16:38

I was a victim of a "near rape" in college in 1975. 2 guys got into my dorm during spring break~I had stayed behind because I was working. They cut the phone line, then tried to take the screen off my window, all the while talking about "getting" me. Then, they came to my dorm door and tried to break in. I got dressed in the dark. When they were going again from door to window, I made a break for it, ran to the Pizza Hut where I worked and announced to all the cops who hung out there at 2:30 in the morning that I was running from some guys. They caught them, drunk in my dorm. They took them to the police station and made them walk home. THAT was their punishment. I was too afraid to stay the night in the dorm so I got on a bus and went home. When I came back, nothing was done to those 2 guys. They lived in my dorm, and were always together, and they laughed and pointed at me every time I saw them on campus. That was the worst part-I felt like I was the weird one, not them. I gave up my diving/academic scholarship at the end of the year. That was my one chance at college. I hate those guys.

Alejandra Corazza (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 16:42

I, too, was raped by someone I knew and it's' been hell trying to recover myself, my confidence, my self-esteem, my self-love.
Thank you so much for having the courage to tell your story and to expose what is going on at Amherst as regards rape and sexual assault. Your clarity and strength and integrity shine through in every word of your story. As one who was too ill and too terrified to report my rapist (he lived close by), I so appreciate that despite everything you have been up against, you have come out on the other side. This is inspiring for me and my recovery process. Thank you.
TO ALL, Most people who have not had rape touch their lives either directly by having been raped or indirectly by knowing someone who was raped, need to be educated to understand the far-reaching impacts rape has on a person--man, woman, girl or boy. I believe that ALL MEN and ALL WOMEN need to be taught that rape is a heinous crime which has the capacity to decimate the life of the victim/survivor. Why everyone? Because rape is pervasive in this country and in the world and the more you know about it and it's impacts and how to prevent it, the safer the world will be for victims to speak up and get justice and the less rapes will occur. The more people who understand and get angry and outraged about rape and sexual assault rather than dismissing it, minimizing it and/or blaming and shaming the victim, the fewer rapists will get away with their crimes and rape IS a CRIME. No one should get away with it and no more victims/survivors should suffer because of the the way things are set up currently in this country (USA) to blame and shame the victim rather than the rapist. Rapists are the criminals. And they should receive ample punishment/consequences for the crimes they commit. When I inquired about the possibility of reporting my rapist, when I was finally emotionally and psychologically well enough to do so, I was told that he would get at most 8 years in prison. 8 years? When it's taken me more than 22 to recover from the PTSD and hell I have been through and the hundreds of thousands of medical bills I have had to pay for treatment for the effects what one man did to me? So yes, I think EVERYONE should be taught that RAPE is a CRIME, to NOT RAPE and to have compassion for those who are or have been raped. No more blaming and shaming the victim. And administration at Amherst? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Michelle (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 16:50

Amherst was wrong to respond this way, the system is wrong, and there are people out in this world who empathize and care. I'm sorry that you had to go through all of this, but I hope that life will be good to you, and that people will be good to you from now on. I wish absolutely nothing but the best for you.

Kelly Beard (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:02

I'm horrified at the series of mistreatments Angie Epifano received from Amherst administrators, beginning with:
1. Discouraging her from pursuing an investigation or pressing charges, and apparently never questioning the attacker about the rape
2. Coercing Epifano to go to the hospital and be admitted for psych evaluation against her will, seemingly without the opinion of her own physician or psychiatrist.
3. Forcing her to stay on campus in a dorm where she was surrounded by men, and mostly likely being triggered for PTSD and depression, and giving no thought to her need to be separated from her attacker on campus
4. Denying her claims of needing help, and instead denying her feelings of anger and needing to leave
5. Not referring her to an off-campus, independent counselor or doctor
6. Discouraging her from pursuing her academic plans, in the interest of Amherst's liability, apparently
7. Allowing a non-qualified administrator to make evaluations of her mental health status
8. Continually denying her story and presuming care-taking responsibility for a woman who is of majority age, again if only to protect Amherst's liability, not Epifano. Kudos to Epifano for realizing that she did NOT have to take any advice or help from the college that was not in her interest.

Unfortunately, Amherst has a terrible reputation for the antics of its male students, this is on authority of students from Smith and Mount Holyoke that I have been told over decades (really, decades.). I always thought it was just a bad rep, but possibly not. An actual testimony about a woman who tried to report a rape was then silenced, coerced, and prevented from pursuing her academics is astounding, and should be halting to women who are current students or who are considering applying.

Tara (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:09

I study Women's and Gender Studies and have read endlessly on rape, but your account still made me cry... I wish every woman who has been affected by sexual assault would publish her story--then we'd have a revolution on our hands! But, for now, thank you for sharing.

Rev. Dr.E. J. Moss (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:18

Any time that a young lady/female brings to the attention of one who is in aposition of trudt, "THEY ARE MANDAED TO REPORT THE SITION TO THE PROPER AUTHORITES"!!! Additionally, I would that there be educational classes to teach our young ladies/students what constitutes "RAPE", and what the appropriate stepts are for reporting the incident!!! They "Must call the authoritis", and do so "IMMEDIATELY"!!! Do so without any hesitation!!! Do not remove any clothing!!! Do not take a shower!!! Do not, under any circumstancs, allow the rapist to intimidate her (the victim) in any way!!! Our lades must me fully educated as to what to do, when, where, to whom, and immediately seek medical care to preserve the evidene!

miasopapia (not verified) says:
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 01:32

Rev. Dr.E. J. Moss thought that this article would be an appropriate place to talk about the need to not just share legal rights and procedures with women but DEMAND women who become victims follow the procedures for reporting a rape. Certainly, I think it's important to share with EVERYONE (not just women) what these rights and procedures are, but to say that women MUST report puts so much pressure on a victim and inflicts guilt victims who were emotionally, physically, traumatically, socially, or otherwise restricted from reporting a rape. Should the author of this article feel guilt for not reporting a rape when the trauma from the act emotionally and mentally blocked the incidence for quite some time? Should another victim who might, in a frenzy of trauma, feel the need to trash her clothes and scrub her body of the violation be shunned for not having maintained the "crime scene" which is her very self? Should a victim who refuses to complete a rape kit because the process becomes too invasive for him be chastised for not having put forth enough evidence? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is a firm NO!
That is not to say that the rights, process, and law should not be shared. That is not to say that we shouldn't support victims who are able to go through these processes. It is to say that we should never tell victims what they need to do, just like we should never tell victims what they should have done. It is also to say that each choice, to report or not to report a rapist, is emotionally trying and painful. We can only make sure victims know their rights, know the procedures, and know that they can make whichever choice. Then, we can only support them when they make a decision.

Illinois Officer (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:21

I had hoped to learn that colleges’ response to sexual assault has improved over the past 21 years, but apparently nothing has changed. I was raped by another student while attending a private liberal arts college in the Midwest. My 911 call was routed to the campus security who did not notify local police but took me to a hospital 40 miles away in another county, where I was treated for, among other injuries, a dislocated shoulder, a broken clavicle, and a broken nose. I was not allowed to call my family or see any of my friends in the hour before we left the campus, and a kind member of the dean’s staff assisted me at the hospital by telling the doctors and policemen I was too traumatized to talk to them about the assault. (To be fair, this was partially true as the rapist had squeezed my throat so hard I was unable to speak loudly and clearly for a few weeks.) I later learned why I had not been contacted by local police for over two weeks; the dean’s office did not provide them with my residence or direct phone number and failed to notify me of their attempts to visit or call. Apparently the office also reported I had returned home “to stay and relax,” when I had only gone home for the five-day Easter break. The administration never explicitly instructed me not to pursue criminal or academic sanctions against my rapist, but certainly implied it would be in my best interest to just let it go. They pointed out the college had discretionary funds available to pay for all my hospital bills if I applied for assistance. They reminded me my honors program required me to lead a seminar-style class, and if I couldn’t speak loudly enough to be heard I certainly couldn’t teach. No teach: no credit. No credit: no fulltime student status, no scholarship, grant, foundation and student aid monies. No credit: no graduation in two months. (By that point, I wasn’t very optimistic about the chances of successfully defending a thesis either…..) So when a helpful and sympathetic police investigator finally interviewed me, I requested he not press charges. And I felt guilty about that; in fact, I never felt ashamed about the rape itself, but I was ashamed of and angry with myself for not doing the right thing and pursuing it with people who were interested in advocating for me. I was fortunate enough to graduate immediately after and never, ever come back. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to return the next year, and the next, to try to learn (and recover!) in an environment controlled by administrators who were not only disinterested in my best interests but intentionally and systematically acted against them. Angie, your mistreatment by these people who were charged with your success and wellbeing is as much a crime and a greater betrayal than that of your rapist. I am so sorry for what your rapist and the school administration did to you, and I am so angry on your behalf. I hope the rage you surely feel doesn’t damage you, and that this beautiful essay is just the beginning of your recovery. I hope you turn your experiences into empowerment and grow to love yourself more and better than ever before. I believe we and others like us are changed by rape forever, but I believe even more strongly that we can become better BECAUSE of it. So please, go and BECOME! Work on the ranch as hard as you can and fall into bed bone-tired and wiped out so that the rape is not the strongest body-memory you have. Live and laugh and learn as much as you can so you have bigger memories than the fear and betrayal. YOU are so much more than this, and don’t let anyone, ever, tell you what you can’t do because of it.

Artsy '11 (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:26

This is like the plot of a really effed up movie that I would go see and be furious about for the next week, christ. I promptly proceeded to google the shit out of my alma mater (Parsons School of Design in NY ) and lucky for them I came up empty, although I'd like to believe art schools are different, Im not that naive. Either way I hope the guilty parties read your story and are plagued by it...We all know this happens everywhere, but maybe Amherst will be the first in a domino effect, and something will change... The whole psych ward thing, and then reading other girls saying "yea i just got out too, " FREAKING SURREAL. Ugh makes me feel homicidal...!

Melissa S (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:32

thank you for sharing this story. amherst clearly needs some help cleaning their act up and recognizing that rape is not an issue that can be swept under the rug. shame on them.

may you have strength and courage, always, to speak up for yourself and for what is right.

C (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 17:34

Thank you so much for sharing this - sending support from St. Olaf College in MN.

Melissa (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 18:22

Kudos to the author for sharing her story. I was hoping this happened in 1952, not 2011! Was also hoping you'd share your rapists name with us... I'd love to call him and open a can of whoop ass on him.

Kev (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 18:26

You need to give the world his full name. Tell everyone who he is and what he did.

Comment Advocate (not verified) says:
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:21

I HATE RAPISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Wed, 10/31/2012 - 21:47

Me too

Jack (not verified) says:
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 20:10

This is terrible advise. The person is question has not been formally accused and found guilty of anything. If she announced to the world that this person is a rapist she could be open to a defamation suit...particularly if the guy can document how the accusation has affected his life. This could ruin her. And this is why we have a legal system. I understand why somebody who is raped may not want to report it. That is their choice. But if a victim chooses that path, they give up the right to start naming names. The victim can't have it both ways.

Anon (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 18:36

Please name the rapist so that he can never be hired. He deserves to be outed and ostracized, deal with the consequences of his actions.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 19:28

Your strength is absolutely inspiring. Thank you.

Liv (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 19:52

As a rape victim myself I know what it's like to have no one believe you. To be isolated by everything to feel weird or unworthy. Thank you for your story

Julie (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 20:49

....than that weak little rapist. You are not a are a survivor! Don't feel ANY shame. Remember, the rapist & the school are weaker than you & inferior to you. You can regain your old, pre-rape self back. Wounds heal, scars fade. The rapist lost but you won. As long as you speak out loud and proud & without shame, you won. Also, share this weak boys name. He raped you because he is weaker than you you are. There's a force in the universe called KARMA! It is real. This weak tiny little rapist has not won. You will report him & share his name. You will speak out against the wimps & losers running Amherst. You will fight for the rights of rape SURVIVORS (not 'victims') and show the world that YOU ARE STRONGER THAN THEY ARE & THAT YOU WILL NOT LET THEM SHAME YOU AGAIN! Little rape-boy is the shamed one! Remember, they can only keep you down IF YOU LET THEM. If you say to yourself "That boy has no power over me! I am stronger than him! I feel no shame! They are deluded! I am clean, undefiled, strong & invincible!"

Speak out loud & speak out proud! You are the stronger! Don't let them lie & tell you you are weak. Seek counseling & take self-defense courses! Reclaim what was lost & LAUGH AT THE WEAKER MALE...THE RAPIST! He's not a man. A man HONORS WOMEN. This guy doesn't so he's weaker than you & not a man. Tell everyone who he is! Shame him! Warn women who get with him! It'd not libel if it's truth! Speak out against Amherst! START A VAST SOCIAL MOVEMENT! BE A LEADER! RECLAIM YOUR TRUE SELF! FIGHT THE POWER! You will heal. There is no self-annihilation, unless you let it. Wounds heal, scars fade.

Seek help, speak out, heal and report this guy! If you can't get him legally...get him through SHAME!

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:09

Thank you for your courage and strength for this thing happened. The victim should NEVER be blamed; it is the rapist who should be punished! Tell the media who the rapist is, tell everybody who this man is. He must pay for what he has done.

Survivor Also! (not verified) says:
Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:27

As a survivor of rape at another small, private, highly respected, east coast college, I am horrified to hear about your experience. I never officially reported by perpetrators but I did confide in campus counselors etc. who gave me a nearly opposite response to the one you received. I am so happy you've decided to share this story so that advocates can work to expose this administration. I'll be sure to tell all my friends how Amherst protects rapists and silences (blatantly! shamefully!) survivors. Second, I just wanted to say that the first "official" person I came out to was my RA. She was the opposite of helpful. It took me YEARS to tell anyone else at the college. Your story is a testament to your strength. Keep on fighting! It gets better.