Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Victimizing The Victim

Agatwe Wanjuki was sexually assaulted by another student while attending Tufts University. But instead of punishing her attacker, the school asked her to leave.

I have always been troubled by the demonization of any victim, especially victims of rape. It is perhaps one of the most heinous crimes on earth. Not just because of the depraved indifference involved in the crime but also because the victim of robbed of their security and their temple is violated.

Wanjuki, 27, is the woman behindthe widely trending Twitter hashtag #SurvivorPrivilege.

 Wanjuki took to Twitter shortly after the June 6 publication of George Will's Washington Post editorial in which he decried the Obama administration's focus on campus sexual assault and suggested that being a survivor of sexual assault has become "coveted status that confers privileges."

Mr. Will has sank to a new low, and in his attempt to lambast President Obama he has not only trampled upon women's rights, but human rights as well. No sane person with a working brain would covet being sexually violated. In fact being an American as opposed to some other nationalities confers a certain expectation or level of safety.

Annoyed by Will's disregard for the reality of sexual assault survivors, Wanjuki responded with these tweets:

"It was mind-boggling that someone would think there's anything to gain by coming forward as a survivor," Wanjuki tweeted.

Wanjuki first came forward about her assault in 2009. In 2008, she says, she was repeatedly assaulted by a fellow student she was in a relationship with. When she tried to report him to the administration, Tufts responded by telling her that their legal counsel said they didn't have to take action. This occurred before the U.S. Department of Educationmade it clear that universities are obligated under Title IX to respond to reported sexual violence in an expedient manner.

Wanjuki became a courageous and outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual assault and worked with organizations such as Students Active for Ending Rape to push for reforms. During that time, her grades began to slip, though they were not low enough for her to be put on academic probation. Wanjuki believes that her grades were negatively affected by her assault and the lack of support she received from the Tufts administration.

 In summer 2009, the Dean of Undergraduate Education at Tufts, who Wanjuki said happened to be her assailant's academic adviser, told Wanjuki she would have to withdraw from the university due to academic concerns. At the time, she was less than a year from graduating.”

Tufts has not responded to inquiries about Wanjuki's case.

But they will have to answer for victimizing Agatwe twice.


1 comment:

  1. Terrible situation and institutional response. I admire her courage and The PR Brown Report's highlighting what is occurring with her and others. Kudos.