Guest Blogger: Gabrielle Perez

Megan Wright, 19 and a college freshman at the time of an alleged gang rape after a dorm party, has committed suicide.

This happened in May 2006. Megan Wright was allegedly drugged and gang-raped by many men at Dominican College. She woke up to blood on her underwear, told her roommate she thought she’d been raped, and went to get a rape kit done. She told her parents, who then confronted the Dean of the school, and the Dean told them “this is the first day of finals” meaning that he couldn’t deal with the issue at hand. No one at the school helped her cope through the traumatic experience and she fell into a deep depression, ultimately suffocating herself to death.

Rape On Campus A Shocking Reality

This connects with another article I found on Associated Content about a 15 year old girl attending her homecoming dance in California and getting gang-raped in a back alley by older men in 2009.

Young Girl Gang Raped at Home Coming Dance While By-Standers Laughed and Cheered

Where is the help when you need it the most? These girls were gang-raped and no one sought to help them out; this goes into the bystander effect. What do you do when you see someone hurting someone else? Do you go out and help them or do you watch while they fall to their demise? According to the video, 1 in 5 women are raped and only 12% of women report it. Where are the resources to help these women cope? Wright’s parents stated that the school did nothing to help manage the depression. Ultimately, what are colleges’ strategies in dealing with rape crisis issues? Granted, there are counselors to speak with, but what are the necessary steps to ensure that student’s right to a safe education? The video also states that only 10-25% of men are actually expelled from college due to rape and sexual assault cases.

If you ever find yourself in a situation like Megan’s or her parents, find the support you need and handle it how it should be handled. Schools need to be on top of their game when it comes to issues like rape or sexual assault. Rape shouldn’t be one of those gray areas that administrators glaze over and pass from person to person. Take the necessary steps and speak up; there is hope for justice after all.

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6 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Gabrielle Perez

  1. With rape, one of the strongest trends is victim blame. Rape, because it is a sexual act, is seen as purely about sex. Also, many people (both sexes!) look immediately at the girl raped–what was she wearing, how dis she act, etc. There’s the classic “she was asking for it” or “she enjoyed it.”

    I’m sickened to say that my Dad thought making a rape joke was funny when we were watching a story about a girl who was kidnapped and raped. I never screamed so hard in my life.

    But, let’s say rape is about sex. Then, why is it a girl is raped when her guard tends to be down or she is alone? I am not in ANY WAY saying she shouldn’t be walking alone! It’s a right to feel safe at night alone. But, look at the situation: the victim is vulnerable and alone. That’s who the predator goes for. Picture a rapist in a bar; there’ a girl with a high skirt, big breasts, and a low-cut top. She is with a group of 10 friends. But off in the corner booth is another girl, wearing pants a turtleneck reading a book all alone. Who do you think a rapist would see as the easier target?

    Never, ever does a woman “ask” for it. It’s our right to feel safe. And if such a heinous crime were to occur, the victim MUST know they have a safe place to go to. That’s why the first step towards progress is to stop blaming the victim.

  2. kyle Tritten says:

    I agree a hundered percent with what Stephen said. To many times the victim is the one blamed, for people say “oh she was asking for it” ” Look at how she was dressed” and things of this nature. It is never the victims fault, and the word rape is to oftenly thrown around casually. We need to change the culture around rape, and everyone recognizes that rape is something bad and shouldn’t happen then why is there no support system for these women, and why are they afraid to admit to being raped. Our culture is so screwed up when it comes to the case of rape. We acknowledge it is wrong but yet then we really do nothing to help these women out. Things need to be done to help these women out and give them outlets to cope with the pain, and to help them realize it was not their fault, and that its okay to admit it. Our culture needs to be able to be more understanding and not look down on these women of this crime, and male’s need to be more cautious with throwing around the word rape in a careless manner.

  3. Emily Harris says:

    Changing the way people treat and view women who are victims of race starts way before any incident of rape actually occurs. Society needs to stop putting pressures on women that contains them in a double-bind. We expect women to not have sex with several men, but we do expect them to have sex with a few sexual partners. Does that make any sense? If a woman has a reputation for sleeping around she is automatically a slut, whore, and whatever other names you want to throw in there. But if a woman doesn’t have sex often or at all after the age of about 19 they are prude. We need to break down the double-bind that women are placed in. No matter what choice a woman makes she is seen as a social deviant.

    No wonder we automatically think of what the victim did to “get herself raped” when in fact she did nothing. Living in a male dominated society is all the victim ever did and she certainly didn’t ask for that.

    I can’t say it is easy to get out of this trend we find ourselves in. There was an incident in my high school where a girl was raped and several people took the side of the male student when they had no idea of what happened. All around school the only thing people talked about was “oh she runs in her sports bras on campus” and “she wears short skirts” and “she’s such a flirt.” It was very rare that I heard someone say what he did was wrong and she did not do anything to ask for what happened to her. And I can’t say that I didn’t fall into the same trap that my classmates did in thinking that he was the innocent one in the situation. But who do we have to blame but society for the expectations of women that are impossible to obtain?

    • Michele says:

      Emily, i think you bring up a really good point here–and something we talked about in He Says/She Says today. these ideas of how women should dress and the results of their attire–oh she deserved it, look at how she was dressed–is certainly part of our ideology of how behavior is gendered. the real question is how to nchange it and then to consider, can we change it?

  4. Becky says:

    It is sad to think that a lot of women keep quiet about incidents of rape because of these stories. Women feel that their voices may not be heard because men dominate this issue and appear stronger in these circumstances. Women sometimes feel that after such events occur that no one will believe them and that the aftermath is just such a heated topic that they don’t want to get into anymore and pursue the pain they already feel. What boggles me is that those who rape women obviously have mothers and in some cases sisters. I can’t imagine any son or brother wishing this upon his female family members. So this is why I wonder how any man can force himself upon a woman?

    It is seen in many movies, how the older brother becomes the protecter of his sister and watches over her and makes sure none of his friends become interested in her. So why is it that we never hear about men who rape and their relationships with other women? I would be curious to know the family backgrounds of men who commit these crimes.

  5. Liz Douglass says:

    This article reminded me of a rape case that was being tried last year. A common topic of discussion during my Intro to Women’s Studies course last semester, we discussed a female student undergoing a trial through her school against a boy who had raped her the previous year. Unfortunately, the case did not end in her favor. The boy got to stay on campus while, in fear of her own safety, the girl took a leave of absence and went home. This relates to the case of Megan Wright, as in both incidents the school did not help the rape victim in a time of crisis. If every one in five women is raped, and only 12% of these women report their rapes, then why are schools not doing everything they can to support these rape victims? It seems to be a common theme that women who have been raped do not recieve justice when they do come forward, so why should they? It is hard enough for a women to bring herself to discuss the topic, and the lack of support they recieve is hindering their motivation to bring their cases to the public eye. It is necessary for all schools to make their students feel safe, and it is clear that they have trouble doing so when it comes to rape victims. There is no reason that a boy who raped a fellow student should remain on campus, while the victim feels the need to leave. It makes no sense to me that such a large number of rapists walk away from these trials with no punishment. The court systems and school systems need to find a way to help rape victims find justice, or the small percentage of women that report their rapes will become even smaller, and cases such as Megan Wright’s will become more prevalent.

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