Dear Editor,

An open letter to CERTS:

Among the new posters that have been put up approximately a week ago, the one that reads “’I didn’t trust my new partner’ —someone in your residence hall, a sexual assault survivor” is very triggering to me as a sexual assault survivor.

Seeing that poster every day reminds me how badly the trauma has effected me. I understand that the goal of those posters is to underline the importance of consent and to bring awareness to sexual assault, but I ask that the feelings of sexual assault survivors be considered. The poster forces me to relive my
experience and impacts my ability to feel safe here at school. It reminds me how damaging sexual assault is for a person’s mental well-being, and it reads like a cautionary tale rather than a sincere attempt to empathize with a victim’s
experience.

I’m tired of feeling like a broken, lesser person because of something I had no control over.

I’m tired of hiding my trauma because of the stigma surrounding sexual assault.

Highlighting the victim’s experience reaffirms the victim-blaming culture surrounding sexual assault and ignores the larger problem at hand—teaching rapists not to rape. The victim did not choose to get assaulted. That is the very definition of assault—the lack of consent—so publicizing the victim’s pain incurs nothing but further shame and humiliation for the victim while erasing the assaulter’s role.

This poster basically says “getting raped is scary,” when it should really say “stop raping.” This is a rapist epidemic, not a victim epidemic.

Sincerely,

Sophia Rossini ’20, CSB first-year