UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Tuesday night, sexual assault survivors’ stories were shared at the “Me Too on Campus” event at UI.
This event comes after police say a student was sexually assaulted in a dorm Monday night. It also coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
About a dozen testimonies were shared. Volunteers read anonymous letters from survivors sharing experiences of rape, sexual assault and graphic details of how people were attacked and forcibly violated.
Out of respect for the survivors, media was asked not to reveal the specific details about what happened, but this was their night to be heard. Each story recalled the horrific stories of sexual assault survivors at UI. The Students Against Sexual Assault group held the event on campus to uplift those who have gone through this trauma.
Bridgette Jasinski is the group president. She says, “Survivor voices are often swept under the rug or unheard. Even in this ‘Me Too’ era, we hear a lot of voices of dissent for survivors who are speaking out. Their voices are heard but in a way that doesn’t subject them to criticism or potential danger.”
Suda Rao is a student at UI. She says, “With the #metoo movement more and more stories are coming out and we see how common this is and how rape culture has been pervasive in our society.”
The hope was that people recognize the paralyzing affects of the lasting consequences survivors have to suffer long after this happens.
Jasinski says, “This is a subject that a lot of people don’t know how to approach or tip-toe around or just don’t know anything about.”
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says about 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of rape during their time in college. This group at UI wants to make sure survivors are supported.
UI Police are still searching for the suspect in the sexual assault report from Monday night. They say the student met him on a dating app, and she let him into the Sherman Hall dorm. Surveillance video captured images of him. It happened around 10:20 pm. Police released a campus safety notice around 11 pm. They say any time you are planning on meeting up with someone you don’t know, you should do it in a public place and never give out your address.