Testimony #21

“My whole life I’ve grown up believing that rapists belong in prisons and that violating someone like that is damnable. When you hear about top security prisons you hear that they house ‘murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc’ - describing them as among the most dangerous people in our society.

Yet, at Princeton, one in four/five people are sexual assaulted during their time here. In my experience, and that of many other people I know, Title IX fails to find rapists guilty or punish them sufficiently - they sweep it under the rug and maintain their pristine “it doesn’t happen here” image. It’s hard enough to come forward with a disclosure of sexual assault as it is.

The people who rape and assault others on campus are our friends, teammates, lab partners, peers. You tell yourself that you know rape is wrong. But when it’s someone you know and like who commits this crime (whether to you or a friend), how quick are you to equate them with someone who could potentially be residing in a jail cell for what they did? Why do so many people make excuses for or find it so easy to remain friends with someone they know is a rapist?

I don’t understand how/why in college it feels like sexual assault has been wildly [decriminalized] in the way some parts of our community handles it. I don’t know if many other people feel this way.. I hope I’m not the only one who sees it.

The boy who raped me was my friend. I see him nearly every day. I see him with my friends - ones who don’t know what he did as well as ones who do. I see him thriving while my life has be altered forever. And I wonder why he got away with it.”

— Anonymous Princeton Undergraduate Student