Something I never understand is how people are so ridiculous with how they deal with rape victims and incidents on college campuses. A place where people should feel safe is at school. I now realize that this was an ideal concept. Somehow I felt safe at school and just because I didn't hear about rape happening while I went to Emerson didn't mean it didn't happen.
Until I read this article, I myself forgot about my own incident with sexual assault. Thankfully I prevented any harm to come to me, but while I was at BU I had a male friend come by on a Friday or Saturday night after he was drinking and he tried to force himself on me. I guess I kind of forget about it because nothing really did happen, but at the time I felt incredibly violated. I never reported it. I never even thought to. I remember other people in my residence hall thought I was crazy for thinking he even tried to sexually assault me. They thought I was just over-exaggerating, but the truth is that a person really can't over-exaggerate this type of situation if it truly scared them.
In the past year, a friend of mine also told me how she was sexually assaulted on campus by a male student who ripped her shirt open to expose her body in front of several students as well as saying extremely sexually explicit things to her. The act was caught on camera. My friend reported the situation after she and I had a long conversation about it. When she told me the counselor she spoke to told her that nothing was going to be done to rectify the situation. This type of negligence is what causes people to feel uncomfortable in their situations. My friend felt like she couldn't go to her work-study job because her assaulter was often there. In my situation, I left BU. Not just because of my assaulter, there were MANY more reasons, but he did add to my poor freshman year experience.
I sometimes also wonder why or how women are chosen as targets for sexual assault. As many of my friends know, I present myself with this tough bitch attitude, probably as defense mechanism against such situations. I figured that if pose myself as someone that cannot be taken advantage of then no one would try. However, I have also been told that this type of behavior can also make someone feel threatened and try to put me in my place by harming me in some way. This type of behavior is common, whether sexual assault is the method of harming another or not. Everyday, people put others down who threaten them etc to make themselves feel better. Ultimately, it is all about a control of power. The student who assaulted my friend was trying to show her how he has a right to something and to put her down and make her feel uncomfortable so he himself can feel more comfortable again.
But really... why is it that people seem ill equipped to deal with situations of this nature? It seems like if a person is a serial rapist something will be done to put him or her in their rightful place, but if you are a college student they almost dismiss these acts of violence and give them another chance to attack somebody else. It seems like these situations are too sticky that not many people want to get their hands dirty because if they do something to punish the assaulter, they may receive some wrathful consequences. But that doesn't make it right to not stand by and let it happen again. These are the types of situations that really make me reconsider giving up my creative aspirations and settle into counseling/social work so that at least there can be someone out there helping these kids who are turned away by their own schools. If you, the reader, EVER have a friend who comes to you with something like this, please urge them to come forward and find some justice. Even if the outcome is not what you wanted, it is important to at the very least have it on the record somewhere, so that it isn't an incident that can go completely forgotten or unknown.
If you want to read more of the article that fired me up to write this entry here it is:
Student Commits Suicide After Alleged Sexual Assault By Notre Dame Football Player
I'm a photographer in the Boston area looking to make a difference and create emotion through art.
I am influenced by all kinds of artists such as Georgia O'Keefe, Tara McPherson, Tim Burton and Robert Frank. It isn't about the medium, but about the emotional connection I feel to the work.
My work in photography stemmed from my interest in film, more specifically in cinematography. My undergrad degree was in filmmaking and my interest in still images telling a story grew from my constant concentration in the frame. I'm heavily influenced by film noir in my street and night photography, but am currently going into a new direction with portraits.