Section: Opinion

Kenyon rape survivor speaks out against buzz of protest on campus

I can appreciate the desire of Kenyon students to protest our administration, but the very public conversation of how our college handles sexual assault needs to stop. As a rape survivor, I feel newfound fear every time I open my Facebook newsfeed. Friends, strangers, news media — everyone seems to have a very strong opinion and a need to share it with the world.

You’re trying to help, but you’re hurting me. Since Michael Hayes’s letter detailing the treatment of his sister Chelsie by the Title IX Office at Kenyon, there’s been a lot of great discussion. I understand the desire of our community to help, but right now you’re just hurting us. You’re hurting me. Before my social media feed became flooded with posts against sexual assault I was down to less than one flashback a week. Now I get them daily, sometimes even more frequently. It’s also not that I’m reading these posts and they’re particularly triggering — it’s really that this discussion has leaked into every aspect of my life at Kenyon.

I appreciate that the community wants change and wants to talk about this but please, respect those in the community, like me, for whom this topic is very painful. There are many of us in the community, perhaps more than we would like to admit, and no one likes reliving their worst day, every day.

I’m not asking for a trigger warning. I’m just asking for you to be more sensitive with your rampant protest. You’re dealing with a very nuanced issue. All I ask is for some sensitivity; you’re ripping open old wounds that aren’t yours to open. Chelsie deserves justice, but you’re hurting us too.


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