The People Who Sexually Assaulted Me Were Selfish and Didn’t Love Me

Sexual assault is selfish and if a person does it, they do not truly love and respect the person they’re with.

It’s selfish, because it’s putting one’s own “needs” above someone else’s safety and well-being. It’s selfish because the person would rather avoid a potentially awkward moment than make sure their “loved one” does not have their boundaries crossed.

Love is not selfish. Love is respectful. Love is putting someone else’s needs over one’s own. If they truly loved me, they never would’ve risked hurting me.

A Survivor’s Perspective on the Gopher Football Players

Trigger warning: Rape

A quick rundown of what happened:

  • In September, ten+ University of Minnesota football players raped a drunk girl at a party.
  • The survivor said what might have started as consensual developed into sexual assault: She was no longer consenting, and she didn’t feel safe leaving or capable of it.
  • She reported it to police, but the case was dropped because there wasn’t enough evidence for it to stand up in court.
  • She then reported it to the university, so now the players are indefinitely suspended.
  • The entire team vowed to boycott all football activities until the suspensions are lifted. They did this because they didn’t feel that due process was followed and they felt they weren’t informed well enough about what was going on. Doing so would violate FERPA (a privacy law).
  • Two days later, after the players and the U’s president discussed the matter, the players ended the boycott.
  • The U’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action recommended expulsion for some players and suspension for others.
  • No charges will be filed with police.
  • The football coach has been fired. He had expressed support for the players when they boycotted team activities.

Continue reading A Survivor’s Perspective on the Gopher Football Players

I Was Sexually Assaulted While Swing Dancing

Trigger warning: description of sexual assault

My passion for swing dancing began with the best first date ever. After dinner and a movie, my ex taught me swing dancing… or what I later would learn was very sloppy East Coast Swing (a sub-genre of swing dancing). The relationship didn’t last, but my love for swing dancing has.

I’ve been dancing for five years now and it’s always brought so much joy to me. It’s exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s a great stress reliever. The music is incredible. And the people I meet are even better.

I’ve always felt safe in the community. Even when other women occasionally pointed out the creepy, socially awkward guys who I shouldn’t dance with. Even when a celebrity within the worldwide swing dancing community (Steven Mitchell) was accused of sexual assault by many women just a couple years ago. Even when Facebook groups popped up in response to this scandal and people shared many stories of non-consensual experiences at dance events. These awful stories sparked a worldwide conversation about consent in swing dancing. Nowadays in blues dancing (another sub-genre of swing dancing), the instructors in my scene always mention consent in their classes. It’s been exciting, especially as the survivor of many sexual assaults, to see a consent culture bloom within our communities.

That being said, no scene is perfect or without its… bad apples. Continue reading I Was Sexually Assaulted While Swing Dancing