Her decision to report to Equal Opportunity Office
I didn’t report until about a month after the incident because I felt so sick awful, like I was doing something wrong if I made a big deal about what had happened … I just had this moment when I realized that I didn’t want to live my life hiding and feeling horrible about myself, and that I couldn’t let this person who’d already forced me to do something awful force me to stay quiet.
I still wasn’t ready for an official investigation, so I filed a report with UGA police and didn’t name him. Later in the spring, I saw him touching one of my friends at a party and drinking, so I filed an official investigation with Title IX [office] the next week because I didn’t want the same thing that happened to me to happen to another girl.
Her experience reporting to the EOO
It is grueling and it is horrible. The first time I went in to testify for Title IX, I had to go relive the entire incident again. Then I had to read his statement ... I was sitting in front of an investigator and I had this strange man read aloud that this boy was saying he [had sex with me] three times, and that’s awful. Then, I’ve had to hear people who have testified against me for some reason. People get nasty in stuff like this, it’s just how they react.
The stigma of sexual assault
Most people just don’t want to talk about it because if it can happen to one person, it can happen to anyone. It happened to me, it happened to her [Editor’s Note: Referring an incident reported in September 2017], and we need to address these incidents and how they are handled before it happens to anyone else.
Her stance on timely warnings from UGAPD
When no email is sent out and it’s not acknowledged and kind of buried, I feel personally offended because even if it’s not my case that was some other girl and that was something very horrible that happened to her. It just feels like UGA devalues that experience and kind of covers it up because it’s not nice to acknowledge and it’s unpleasant.
They said that they don’t send out warnings if a threat isn’t continuous. But what [UGAPD] is not acknowledging is that this threat is always continuous for women attending UGA. It’s unfortunate, but that threat is always there. So if a rape is reported, I think they should send out an email.
On sexual assault awareness at UGA
I know we had the Haven training, but honestly, the examples that they use are cut and dry when in reality the lines are often blurred ... We can always do more, I’m just not sure what that would be.
People think that it can’t happen here. I know the kind of party culture is really big at UGA and a lot of times people forget that this stuff actually does happen.