Monthly Archives: May 2014

Campus killings and misogyny

Campus Killings Set Off Anguished Conversation About The Treatment Of Women, via New York Times:

ISLA VISTA, Calif. — A deadly attack by a gunman obsessed by grievances toward women near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has touched off an anguished conversation here and on social media about the ways women are perceived sexually and the violence against them.

“If we don’t talk misogyny now, when are we going to talk about it?” asked Nancy Yang, a second-year global studies major, as she stood a few feet from a memorial created in the wake of the rampage on Friday night that left six people and the gunman dead and 13 wounded.

“Yes, we have to have compassion, and we don’t know what this perpetrator was going through, but there are underlying issues here,” she said. “We can’t do that without thinking about the way we talk about and speak to women. This act does not represent our campus at all, but at the same time there’s a palpable sense that there needs to be more dialogue about the factors that led to it.”

Even as students are still dealing with the shock of hearing gunshots in front of a local convenience store and seeing the dead and wounded bodies in the street, many here are urging others to consider the implications of the attack. And they are also thinking about the catcalls, leers and the fears of sexual violence that have them traveling in packs and carrying pepper spray in their purses.

Of course, they say, a lewd look is not the same as a sexual assault. An unwanted comment is not the same as a gunshot. But many women interviewed on this sun-splashed campus and commenting online said they believed that some of the attitudes toward women expressed by the gunman, Elliot O. Rodger, in his perverse manifesto of rage and frustration reflect some views that are echoed in the mainstream culture.

This conversation comes as college administrators nationwide are confronting increased attention, including from the White House, over reports of sexual abuse against female students.

For many women here, the attacks were like a nightmare caricature of the safety concerns they deal with regularly on a campus where a high-profile gang rape recently prompted widespread concerns about safety and where an outsize reputation for alcohol-fueled parties led some to wonder if the beachside campus culture in any way played into the violence.

In dozens of interviews, women voiced concerns about incessantly hearing jokes about rape or what physical features make a woman desirable. At some parties, several women said, their buttocks have been grabbed at the entry door.

“I do live in fear — this is a difficult part of our reality,” said Maddie Clerides, 19, a sophomore majoring in global studies. Ms. Clerides said she was not alone in her worries. After the shootings, many women left the campus in fear or at the urging of their parents.

“We don’t walk in groups because we like being in cliques; we have real concerns,” she said. “We’re doing everything we can to be safe, but there’s no doubt that this is scary. We don’t invite this on ourselves by the way we look.”

The conversations have also exploded on social media, with hundreds of thousands of people using the hashtag #yesallwomen to discuss violence against women and reveal deep-seated feelings of anger and horror at the sexual expectations and violence directed at women.

On Twitter and Facebook, women voiced their own experiences with verbal and physical harassment and abuse. There were postings from some who said they wore fake wedding rings to avoid advances from men and others who said that saying no to a man “was only the start of negotiation.”

Several others wrote about being told by boyfriends and husbands that they deserved being abused. They spoke of law enforcement and school administrators ignoring pleas for help.

One woman began using the hashtag on Saturday as a response to the hashtag #notallmen, which had been used to argue that men should not be universally portrayed as sexist aggressors. So yes, women on social media said over and over again, not all men are harassers, but all women have experienced such harassment.

Even as the hashtag continued to be one of the top trends on Twitter on Monday, used with more than one million postings, there was considerable backlash, with some saying it portrayed men unfairly and urging a more universal message. The user credited with beginning the hashtag apparently shut down her account after saying that she had been repeatedly harassed online over the weekend.

Jill Dunlap, a director of the Women’s Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said that she hoped the online discussions would help fuel a wider dialogue on campus.

“This whole conversation is about acknowledging that, yes, women have gone very far, but there is still real inequity,” Ms. Dunlap said. “It has just been accepted as fact that women cannot walk alone at night. Now people are saying, ‘Well that’s not really fair, that’s not what we call equality.’ We’re seeing more people say you don’t have to accept it or be polite. It opens up a conversation of how to really change cultural expectations.”

Still, many here suspected that such conversations would not come easily from all corners of campus. Ariana Richmond, a sophomore with a double major in global and feminist studies, organized a march on Monday morning to voice anger about Friday’s attack and, she wrote in an invitation to classmates, “all other acts of violence and disrespect towards womyn that have taken place this year.”

Just a handful of supporters showed up, and Ms. Richmond said that when she voiced her concerns on campus she was often accused of “reverse sexism.”

“The hardest issue for anyone to talk about is misogyny, and that’s what this is — we face harassment every day that stems from the same thing,” she said. “We’ve become so desensitized to it that we don’t even flinch most of the time. But these are real threats directed against women, and we have to call this what it is: a hate crime directed against women.”

Many women spoke of compulsively reading the killer’s manifesto, seeing extreme echoes of sentiments they had all heard before.

A few urged caution, saying this gunman, like others who have marauded across American life, should be seen more as a deranged madman than a metaphor for something larger.

“This was the act of one man,” said Casey Lockwood, who recently graduated with a degree in sociology and still lives in Isla Vista. “I think it’s connected to the imperfect nature of every human being, not just men. I don’t know if we can use it as a sociological window into anything.”

But, on this largely liberal campus, few seemed to see it that way.

Hannah Goodwin, a graduate student in film studies, said she was so alarmed by Friday’s attack that she felt compelled to send a lengthy email to her students on Saturday, urging them to think about their own actions and the prevalence of sexual violence around them.

“It fosters an environment of fear rather than of community and shared learning,” Ms. Goodwin wrote, “and you should never have to experience this anywhere, regardless of what clothing you wear, what color hair you have, your gender, etc. I know you all know this, but it bears repeating: No one ever has the right to demand access to others’ bodies, and you never owe anyone access to your body.”

A round of applause for the Atomic Grill

Restaurant Gives Best Response to Request That Servers Show More Skin, via Jezebel:

A restaurant owner in West Virginia responded to a customer’s complaint that servers should “show more skin” in the absolute best possible way—by showing a photo of potato skins on their Facebook page and offering a special to benefit rape victims.

When a customer complained to Daniel McCawley, owner of the Atomic Grill in Morgantown, that his servers need to “show more skin,” (UGH) he was ticked. The request was made via a now-deleted UrbanSpoon post and it immediately enraged McCawley. “It was brutish. I was upset. I’m a father of a 12-year-old girl and I’ve got five sisters,” McCawley said in an interview with ABC. “The way that women are treated is pretty personal as far as I’m concerned.” OMG DO YOU LOVE THIS GUY OR WHAT?

All of the profits of Atomic Grill’s potato skin specials ($7 a pop) go to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services. I could not be happier about this news story if it came with kittens shooting rainbows out of their asses. I salute you, Daniel McCawley. You’re doing good work there, buddy.

Image via Atomic Grill Facebook.

Seeking donations!

yardsale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our annual yard sale in Oxford County will be held on July 11th & 12th, 9 AM – 2 PM.

We are currently seeking donations of gently used items, but please no computer equipment or heavy furniture. 

Items can be dropped at our office: 1 East Main Street in South Paris

For more information, please call (207) 743-9777 or send an e-mail to: steph.leblond@sapars.org

Thank you!

Actress discloses sexual abuse history

Pamela Anderson Reveals Horrifying History of Sexual Abuse, via Jezebel:

On Friday, Pamela Anderson gave an absolutely heartbreaking speech at the launch of her animal rights charity, in which she revealed that she suffered sexual abuse throughout her childhood.

According to the transcript of the speech, which she has since posted on her blog, the abuse began when she was six years old:

At the risk of over exposing myself…again, possibly being inappropriate…again. I thought I might share with you events that, in surviving, drove me to this point right now. I did not have an easy childhood — Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6-10 by my female babysitter.

Two years later, she said, she was raped by a friend’s brother:

I went to a friend’s boyfriend’s house while she was busy. The boyfriend’s older brother decided he would teach me backgammon which led into a back massage which led into rape — my first heterosexual experience. He was 25 yrs old. I was 12.

And in 9th grade, she continued, her “first boyfriend… decided it would be funny to gang rape me with six of his friends.”

In the aftermath of all the horrific abuse she suffered, said Anderson, she had “a hard time trusting humans” and “just wanted off this earth.” It wasn’t until she discovered her love of animals that she found a sense of purpose: “My loyalty remained with the animal kingdom. I vowed to protect them and only them. I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean. My only real friends — till I had children.” And now she’s been advocating for animal rights for 20 years.

After the event, she tweeted “I want people to know – they can overcome and prosper with love.” I’m very in much in awe of her strength in overcoming all of this trauma and her courage in coming forward with her story. [CNN]

The myth of the sexual offender

“I’ve never met a sex offender I didn’t like”: How perpetrators get away with it, via Bangor Daily News:

A Castine woman was recently charged with sexually assaulting a resident in a nursing home where she worked. And because she is young and female, and slightly smiling in her mug shot, some readers expressed surprise. How could a 22-year-old, polished-looking female be charged with two counts of gross sexual assault and one count of intentionally endangering the welfare of a dependent person?

It’s not as uncommon as one might think.

The assault, according to investigators, involved a victim who “was unconscious or otherwise physically incapable of resisting and did not consent” to the sexual contact. That is, in fact, the legal definition of sexual assault. You have to be willing or able to consent.

Even if a victim says “yes,” it’s still illegal for someone who gets paid to care for a dependent person to engage in a sexual act with that dependent person. He or she is in a position of authority, and having sex with a patient is an abuse of that power. That holds true whether a perpetrator is a doctor caring for a patient, a teacher with authority over a student or a corrections officer overseeing an inmate.

The court will decide whether Sara Comtois is guilty. But when some people are shocked by the “type” of person charged, it shows the general public could stand to learn more about those who actually commit sexual assault. They don’t necessarily look creepy and drive white vans that say “candy” on the side.

Rather, many are likable. Often, they target future victims and work themselves into their lives, earning their trust and the trust of those around them. Doing so requires intelligence, an ability to read people and a certain level of charm. As one counselor told the Denver Post, “I’ve never met a sex offender I didn’t like.”

Maine can’t fully address sexual assault if it doesn’t first break down the myths of sex offenders. They are in every profession. They wear suits and ties. Or they wear dresses. They make themselves helpful to gain access to a victim. Victims are not always “vulnerable,” though people with mental and physical disabilities are at greater risk.

Many people think they are able to instinctually detect a sex offender. At a recent conference, Wendy Patrick, a sex crimes prosecutor with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, showed photographs of a number of people — men and women of different ethnicities, some smiling — and asked the audience to pick out the sex offender. Everyone shouted out their guesses.

The answer? All of them were sex offenders. You can’t tell by looking.

What you can do is be aware of your misconceptions. Any profession that involves caring for others can offer high-quality training to better allow professionals to detect signs of sexual abuse and understand the dynamics at play. Schools can provide prevention programs for students. They can also offer sessions for parents, to better understand how to talk to their children about good and bad touches.

Education is important. Clearly it’s never a good idea to wait until something awful happens to revise a program or policy or institute training. Part of that awareness-building involves breaking down the myths of sex offenders. They often don’t look like the people in your nightmares.

Now, that’s creepy.

Not “asking for it”

Rape victims are not asking for it, via Bangor Daily News:

It’s not in the way you dance, the way you dress, or the way you act – you’re never asking to be sexually assaulted.

That’s the message of Project Not Asking For It, which is meant to counteract our typical cultural response to sexual violence victims. The project is a grassroots effort which asks students to organize an event on their campus, put together a music video featuring multiple students dancing, and upload it to Vimeo.

Victim blaming hasn’t gone away: it’s just shifting into more subtle territory. Recent studies on attitudes regarding sexual violence have shown that even when people explicitly say that sexual violence is never the fault of the victim, their other responses in the same survey suggest otherwise. We’ve gone from “She shouldn’t have been dressed that way” to “Women who dress provocatively might send a mixed message.” Although not as direct, these messages are just as damaging.

Project Not Asking For It focuses on victim blaming on college campuses, but can certainly be applied more broadly. Campus sexual violence has gotten a lot of attention with the recent release of a report from the White House regarding campus sexual violence prevention and response.

The project’s founder and spokesperson, Sally Rappaport had this to say when I reached her via email this week:

“The ‘sexual assault epidemic’ on college campuses is really at the forefront right now, and this provides a wonderful opportunity for students to raise their voices and be heard.

“Much too often, victims of sexual assault don’t even know that they are victims–they just live haunted by a particular, traumatic experience that society has taught them to believe was probably their fault, because of the clothes they were wearing, the way they were dancing, the amount of alcohol they drank, etc…. Project Not Asking For It gives students the chance to show victims that they are not alone, that they can have a voice, and most importantly that it is never their fault.”

The project initially faced issues with posting to Facebook, which deleted information about events at Columbia and Stanford, and blocked the posting of a video from Wesleyan University. Since then, most issues with Facebook have been resolved. When asked about the Facebook issues, Rappaport said, “We’re not sure if the ban was imposed by Facebook or by an individual, but either way it is very disconcerting,” especially given that none of the videos contained nudity or any content that might be considered “inappropriate” or “unsafe.”

“What is unsafe,” Rappaport pointed out, “is preventing important messages like these (from) spreading through the medium of Facebook,” especially as these issues and beliefs are so prevalent in our culture.

To see videos from different college campuses, click the links below.

Wesleyan University

Connecticut College

Vassar College

Georgetown University

 

Tips for supporting a survivor

How to Offer Support After Rape, via Bangor Daily News Blog:

In a devastating stroke of coincidence, I have had multiple friends over the past month or so reach out to me immediately after experiencing sexual assault. Part of this is likely selection bias: I speak and write about sexual assault often and I’m open about the fact that I am also a survivor, making me an obvious candidate for such a discussion. In reality, rape and other forms of sexual assault happen constantly, all around us, and because of the nature of the crime, we will never know who all of the survivors among us are. Every person – literally, every person, and that includes you – knows someone who has been sexually assaulted. Low-end estimates place about 1 in 5 women as survivors of sexual assault. Sexual assaults are seriously underreported for a variety of reasons, and so the actual proportion is quite likely higher. Transgender people are even more likely to be survivors of sexual assault. Cisgender men are less likely to be sexually assaulted, although there are a small percentage of men who are also survivors.

Many people think that if someone they knew was a victim of rape, that they would be aware of it somehow. You might be one of the people who thinks that. Inaccurately, they imagine that when a rape occurs, it is reported to the police, followed by an investigation and trial that makes headline news, and a perpetrator who is brought to justice. This is very, very rarely the case. Some victims report but most do not. Some victims tell friends and family, while others guard their experience as a poisonous secret. As much as everyone agrees that rape is among the most horrible crimes a person can commit, the role of the victim/survivor is a socially stigmatized one. Hearing about rape makes many people visibly uncomfortable. They may ask questions that could be interpreted as requests for “proof” of the victim’s innocence or the rapist’s crime (“Who did it?” “When did it happen?” “Where did it happen?” “Were you drinking?” “What happened exactly?”). They may get angry and try to involve themselves in the situation inappropriately. They may be dismissive. There are a lot of ways to respond poorly to a survivor who wants to confide in you. Unfortunately, most people who choose to reach out for support following rape will experience some or all of those poor responses.

Here is my guide, which is neither exhaustive nor official, to be a supportive person to survivors of rape and sexual assault.

1. Even before you are approached by a survivor, be deliberate and careful about the way that you discuss sexual assault cases in the public eye or in your social circle. Unless you have absolute proof that a sexual assault did not happen, do not express doubt about the survivor’s account. Examples of absolute proof: the accuser and the accused live in different countries and have never been in the same place at the same time; the accused died before the accuser was born; the accused was in a coma when the assault occurred; etc. Examples of ridiculous statements that are not proof: “I know that A didn’t rape B because I know A and he’s a really cool guy”; “A can get all the sex he wants, there’s no way he raped anyone”; “B is a total crazy liar, you can’t trust anything she says”; “I just don’t think it happened/I have a feeling it didn’t”. This doesn’t mean that you have to speak out against the accused – if you have doubts, just don’t say anything. The rate of false reports for sexual assaults is infinitesimally small and the burden of proof already falls on victims. The repercussions for keeping your opinion to yourself are basically nonexistent, while the repercussions for airing your skepticism are pronounced: you will alienate the survivors in your life. You will establish yourself as a person who doubts survivors. If someone close to you is the victim of sexual assault, they may choose not to share that information with you because they fear you will accuse them of lying. Be aware that when you discuss sexual assault, you are never just discussing the situation at hand. When you can, side with survivors. Stand with survivors. The people around you will remember your words in the future.

2. When someone comes to you for support following a sexual assault immediately communicate two things: that you care and that you believe them. Beyond that, allow them to steer the conversation. Don’t play 20 questions with them. They are in a vulnerable place and may feel obligated to respond, even if responding is not helpful to them. Examples of potentially helpful questions: “Is there anything that you want me to do to help you with this process?”; “Do you want to talk about it, do you want to talk about something else, or do you want to be quiet together?”; “Do you want advice or would you prefer for me to just listen?”. Many survivors won’t want to get into the gritty details of their assault and will find it re-traumatizing to do so. They may not want to identify their attacker because they fear retribution. Make sure to let the survivor know that they are not under any obligation to share anything they don’t feel comfortable sharing. The conversation is about them and their needs. If you are unable to prioritize their needs, tell them that you are not in a good place to give support and give them information to contact a sexual assault support line (for example, 1-800-313-9900 is the number for SARSSM’s 24-hour line).

3. Don’t physically touch the survivor (pats, hugs, etc.) unless they explicitly request it. Some people who are recovering from sexual assault will have a heightened sense of touch and feel very uncomfortable when people intrude on their physical boundaries. Rape and sexual assault are crimes against bodily autonomy. Regaining a sense of agency over their body is an important part of the healing process.

4. Don’t push the criminal justice system on them if they choose not to report their assault. Absolutely do not imply that they bear any responsibility for their attacker’s future victimizations if they don’t report. The process of having forensic evidence gathered for a rape kit is lengthy, emotionally exhausting, and traumatic for many. No one should feel pressured to go through that if they do not feel like they can handle it. Some victims may have good reason to believe that they will not have sufficient evidence for a conviction, even though their assault really occurred. Again, the survivor should be at the center of this conversation – not the perpetrator.

5. This might be the most subversive suggestion – in “gray area” situations (situations that felt exploitative but do not meet the legal definition of rape or assault), allow yourself to feel empathy for the survivor and take their experience seriously without faulting the other person involved. For example, if both parties are intoxicated beyond the point of consent and neither would have given consent if they were sober, both of them might feel traumatized in the morning. A sexual encounter where the victim does not say no or resist at any point (because they feel pressured or freeze up in the moment) may leave the other person completely unaware that they are having non-consensual sex. Obviously, these situations lend credence to the idea that culturally we should move toward a model of enthusiastic consent – where sexual encounters only happen when consent is explicitly and happily given (focusing on “only yes means yes!” rather than “no means no”). At the same time, it’s possible to understand that a lot of people assume, “They would tell me to stop if they wanted me to stop”. The emotional experience can still be traumatic and valid without casting a villain. Again, keep your focus on being there for your friend, not on punishing the perpetrator.

By treating the survivors in your life with respect, dignity, and support, you can help end the stigma that keeps so many of us silent.

Prevention starts with healthy sexuality

Want to prevent sexual violence? Start with healthy sexuality, via Bangor Daily News:

If I walked up to 100 strangers on the street and asked them to define healthy sexuality, I’m guessing responses would range from uncomfortable laughs to puzzled looks to real responses. In my life, I’ve certainly had difficulty defining what “healthy sexuality” means and in fact, most Americans do. Pause for a moment and think – what is healthy sexuality to you?

Sexual violence is perpetrated because of unhealthy sexual norms: strict gender roles (men are sex seekers and women sex gatekeepers), the idea that communicating about sex is weird and embarrassing, and a host of other risk factors proven to be associated with sexual violence perpetration.

Healthy sexuality is the opposite of that. It’s important that we as a culture not only recognize “no means no” (which is important!), but we also should be providing young people – and let’s be honest, everyone else – with the other side of that coin. The other side is that consent is the presence of an enthusiastic yes.

A sexually healthy person:

  • Recognizes and respects those enthusiastic yes moments;
  • Recognizes and respects when someone says or implies (through body language and non-verbal cues) no;
  • Is comfortable with different forms of gender expression;
  • Knows how to define their own boundaries;
  • Understands and recognizes body parts associated with sex; and
  • Is comfortable with asking for what they want and being okay with getting it – or not!

Healthy sexuality is also important to survivors healing from sexual violence. When someone experiences sexual violence, his or her sexual autonomy has been violated. Part of healthy sexuality means gaining that sexual autonomy back. Taking control of one’s own sexuality and one’s own body can be healing for a survivor.

Healthy sexuality isn’t easy in a culture where we teach people not to get raped instead of teaching people not rape others. It’s not easy in a culture where survivors are still shamed for talking about their experiences with sexual violence. But so many wonderful organizations and people are doing great work to shift the language we use, to change the way we talk about sexuality and how we treat each other, and to challenge institutions where unhealthy sexual norms are rampant.

A sexually healthy culture can’t be built in a vacuum. Unhealthy messages reach all of us at a very young age. However, there communities all over the world are speaking about healthy sex and sparking dialogue that teaches people what to do instead of just what not to do. And, eventually, we’ll live in a culture where healthy sexuality is the norm.

And honestly, I’d give that an enthusiastic yes.

Cross-posted at Speak About It’s blog – go check them out!

Where is the outrage about sexual abuse?

Every Sunday throughout April, Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services will have a guest column in the SunJournal. Each column will discuss a different aspect of sexual violence, as well as prevention and education efforts.

The forth article is about sexual assault, which was written by Marty McIntyre, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services.

———-

In 2002, the issue of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church by Catholic priests came to light in America. Much of the abuse had been of children between the ages of 11-14, and had occurred decades earlier.

Worse, the Church knew about many of these allegations and had simply moved the offender to a different parish in a different part of the country. These revelations sparked enormous outrage worldwide, and resulted in well over 3,000 civil lawsuits against the offenders and the Catholic Church.

Beginning in 1991 with the Tailhook Scandal, we learned that sexual assault is a common occurrence in the nation’s military. We learned that an estimated 19,000 sexual assaults occur in the military each year, and that 15 percent of female veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from “military sexual trauma” (the Department of Defense term for the impact of sexual assault that occurred within military service).

One to two percent of enlisted men have also experienced sexual assault during their military service.

That is, of course, outrageous and must not be tolerated.

We have had congressional hearings, the Department of Defense did extensive research and developed new response services and protocols, and the Military Justice Improvement Act was included in this year’s National Defense Authorization act.

That bill proposed removing the prosecution of serious crimes (including sexual assault) from the military chain of command, since survivors cited the chain of command as one of the disincentives to report sexual assault, especially when the offender was part of that chain. While the bill did not pass, it is likely to be reintroduced in 2015.

In 2011, we learned that Jerry Sandusky, as assistant coach at Penn State University, was accused and then convicted of 52 counts of sexual abuse against children, some of which occurred on the grounds of Penn State. And, some Penn State officials knew about the allegations and did not do much to deal with the problem.

Again, that revelation ignited great outrage across the country.

Earlier this year, President Obama called attention to the problem of sexual assault on college campuses and established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

The president’s memorandum establishing the task force reveals that 1 in 5 women and a “substantial number of men” experience attempted or completed sexual violence while in college, and states that “more needs to be done to ensure safe, secure environments for students of higher education.”

Again, that awareness sparks enormous outrage and a call to action to address the issue.

So, I should be celebrating the outrage because it is about time that we connected with the horror of sexual violence and its impact. And seriously, I do. Every day.

But here is the part I don’t get: What about the 89,000 rape cases that are reported in the U.S. annually and the 60 percent of cases that occur but are not reported? What about the children who are sexually abused, not by a priest, but by a family member, a sibling, a relative, a neighbor? What about the people who are assaulted, not by a fellow service member or commanding officer, and not by a fellow student on a college campus, but in their communities, in their neighborhoods, in their cars, in their homes?

Where is our outrage about that?

Why are we not having public protests and congressional hearings and presidential task forces to address the horrific sexual violence that is affecting 1 in 3 females and 1 in 5 males in this country?

And I wonder, how do those survivors feel about all of this?

Do they feel invisible? Do they feel unsupported? Do they feel that their lives and their experiences are worth less than the lives of those who suffered sexual violence in the church, in the military, or on a college campus?

I suspect that survivors are glad that people are paying attention to sexual assault and sexual abuse within institutions, and so am I. I suspect they applaud any effort to help survivors of sexual violence and to draw attention to the problem, and so do I.

At the same time, thinking about the sexual violence that they endured in their everyday lives and the impact that they have struggled to overcome, thinking about the lack of attention or support that they experienced, and feeling shame from the blame that was often heaped upon them, survivors might not understand why we are not outraged about that, for them.

Neither do I.

Marty McIntyre is executive director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services.