Progress Not Perfection….

Progress Not Perfection….

I am so happy that colleges are doing more to educate and help prevent sexual assault. I truly am. It seems like more people and organizations are talking about sexual assault prevention and response attempting to educate more students everywhere. And in the recovery and therapy world, we always say that awareness is the first step. Acknowledging the problem, issue, or behavior we want/need to change is the start of it all. And then there is discussing the problem. This is an important step too. And it’s usually way more powerful to discuss issues in groups and get different opinions and theories. And it’s helpful to have each “side’ represented and have professionals too to guide the conversations. Many times there is a huge gap between knowledge and the study of something vs. real actual “street smarts” or experience. I know that many colleges have hosted “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and that often times guys wear high heels in a parade or route around campus in order to raise awareness about date rape and sexual assaults. I admire their willingness to look goofy and be vulnerable. Great idea. And I have always thought highly of the Native American concept of Don’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile or a month in their shoes. But I have to wonder how much of these “Walks” make a difference. Do you think that seeing a bunch of guys walking around in heels helps with prevention? Again, I am not negating the walks. I am sure they create more awareness. But I also know how hard headed I was...
Inspiration From Facebook and William Smith College

Inspiration From Facebook and William Smith College

There is a new Facebook page that totally inspires me. This is from The New York Times: “Support for a College Student Grows After a Rape Complaint Is Dismissed” “William Smith Stands With Anna.” How cool is that? A bunch of alumni and current students did not like how their college was handling a rape report, case, and investigation, and they took positive action that made a difference. In a world that often supports the accused and makes fun of the victims, I am pleasantly surprised by this show of support for a student at a college. I never wanted to be one of those “crazy liberal cat ladies” who look for phallic symbols everywhere and take feminism to the extreme. And I often pride myself on being able to see several sides of an argument; however, the more I read about and study the college campus rape issue and the way the media reports on rape, the more I am becoming hyperaware of language. Steven Smith of ESPN was taken off the air for one week because of his comment regarding domestic violence, asserting that women need to be careful not to provoke the men around them. This guy is a major sports TV personality. And it’s 2014, right? Luckily someone else spoke up, and Mr. Smith had to make an apology on the air. His kind of comment belongs with the “Well, she shouldn’t have dressed like that” comments. I understand that some women do dress a bit “loudly” at times. And it has always bothered me when women dress a certain way in order to emphasize...
This DA Needs to Get a New Job…

This DA Needs to Get a New Job…

The story of a student named Anna, who was a sexual assault victim at Hobart and William Smith College, came out in the New York Times on July 13; and I am happy to say that this article sparked some changes for good. Not all of the people mentioned in the article and who were involved in the case seemed to have evolved or learned from their mistakes. In fact, the Ontario County district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, who had closed the case without testing whether that seminal fluid matched the DNA of any of the accused, even after the victim had to pay for her own DNA rape kit to be processed by a private clinic, has refused to comment or admit any wrongdoing. When a reporter attempted to question Mr. Tantillo in a previous interview, regarding sexual assaults on college campuses, and in particular, the statistics and reports for Hobart and Williams Smith, he told the reporter: “I guess that’s your job to find out why.” Wow. What great work ethic. Boy am I glad that our tax dollars go to pay his salary. Where did we find this guy? And where can we send him? Another sad truth was the college’s investigation and lack of procedures and training. Not only did the panel investigate and dismiss the accused football players in a mere 12 days; (The football players went on to finish their season undefeated), but one of the panelists admitted that they did not know what a rape exam or rape kit was. Yet others claim that the panelists were trained for sexual assault reports...

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