To USD victims of sexual assault — I just want to say #metoo.
I survived a sexual assault on our campus before USD went D1 and let me tell you, I didn’t report because I didn’t think anyone would protect me over a student-athlete. Just because a victim doesn’t report or is protected by privacy laws doesn’t mean we should be ignored or dehumanized in the media and in community discussions.
No, you do not deserve to have the media print the details of your assault. No, you do not deserve to have to read articles that raise the question, “But what about the football team?” No, you do not deserve to be a headline, but be recognized as human, and hurting.
What do you deserve? You deserve to hear #metoo and #youwillsurvive. If you decide to come to class every day where you might see your assailant, your bravery will never be forgotten by me. If you decide to do self-care and stay in bed all day, your bravery will never be forgotten by me. You deserve support and resources. The two things that helped me graduate with my bachelor’s are pursuing a graduate degree and working for a university. You deserve to graduate, have a career and leave the fear behind.
How do you start rebuilding? Use your resources and love yourself.
Student Counseling Center, Cook House, University of South Dakota
National Sexual Assault Telephone and Online Hotline, RAINN
I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but we both know someone else survived and learned how to thrive again. That will be you someday. Stay brave.
One in six
Editor’s note: The Volante doesn’t normally accept anonymous letters to the editor. However, because this person is a sexual assault victim, the decision was made to protect their identity.