The following comes straight from my journal. I’m lazy.
“I got a cool idea last night as I was trying and failing to fall asleep. What if every prof on campus had a little poster in their office that was a quick guide on what to do if a student comes to them for help after being sexually assaulted!? I drafted it between classes this morning and then decided to share it with Professor C. after my classes. It had three sections: definitions, tips and resources. It turns out professors have a really long version of this in a poster form, but she still likes the idea of having an abbreviated version. I decided to just tweak it so it can be hung in residence halls.”
Quick side note: This prof knows that I’m a survivor. I revealed it to my entire sociology class (which was scary as hell), because I thought it would give me some credibility. Some people in the class thought that a lot of people lie about rape and I wanted to set them straight.
“She also just asked me how life is going in general. I admitted that I was struggling and ended up telling her that life as a survivor is getting hard again. She was very understanding about it all and mostly just recommended some self-care like yoga… and then I saw on the poster that profs aren’t confidential resources. Does that mean they’re mandated reporters? Professor C. was sure they are. I got really nervous because I’ve never really wanted to report unless it’s anonymous. She decided not to report because I make my experiences no secret on campus. Maybe she was just making an excuse because she could see how uncomfortable I was.
I haven’t wanted to report for a few reasons. 1) There’s a reason people call reporting “the second rape.” My college may do a good job compared to most, but I still don’t want to tell my story to a bunch of strangers. 2) I don’t see any benefits from it when it comes to the people involved. I think Z has already learned his lesson. Some crimes don’t require intervention from the law – like attempting to steal toys when I was in day care. 3) I really just don’t feel like it. I love the idea of being a statistic, but Z and I don’t need this connected with our names.
Well, I did some searching on my college’s website a few days later and discovered that there’s now an option for anonymous online reporting. I debated for a few minutes, but decided to report. It felt good to know that my college now knows about this. The form was very general and basic, but it does the job. I was amazed that no one seems to know about this option, so I spread the word on Facebook.
The next day I also found out that profs aren’t mandated reporters. They’re just not confidential. Mandated reporters only apply to minors.”
Related content: Why I Didn’t Report My Sexual Assaults
Thank you for reading this article. You can find my backstory here.