Letters to the Editor
Frat coverage perpetuates victim-blaming culture
(In response to Kyle Patton and Derek Quizon’s Feb. 22 article, “ASU Police did not pursue criminal charges in alleged rape at Sigma Chi house.”)
This article, instead of simply highlighting the issue, served to perpetuate the victim-blaming culture surrounding rape survivors. One in twenty ASU women will be victim to sexual assault during their time on campus, and as a sexual assault survivor myself, I realize how important it is to frame this issue correctly. When victims are made to seem at fault for their attacks, it cements existing social misconceptions that the way people dress, the amount they drink, and their previous sexual experiences excuse their rapists. The only reason anyone is ever raped is because they’re around a rapist. You, as a campus newspaper, have the opportunity and, indeed, the responsibility to change this culture for the safety of ASU students.
You mention the woman’s BAC with regards to her state of mind when she reported the incident, not when the incident happened. Her BAC at time of reporting has nothing to do with her case. Altered state of mind? Sure, but getting raped also alters your state of mind — should we discount all rape victim accounts, simply because they've been through a mind-altering trauma and may not be reliable witnesses?
Please realize no assault survivor is going to come forward after hearing this story. This woman went through the trauma of a pelvic exam the morning after she was assaulted. It turned up positive results.
Regular people who go through something like this don't have the strength to do all that she did and if she’s not getting her day in court (even though she did everything right), normal people aren't even going to start the process.
This article perpetuated the culture that led to the creation of unfair policies like the one that is depriving this woman of justice.
Addie Hill Undergraduate