A Harvard University student who said she was sexually assaulted on its campus penned an anonymous op/ed for the school’s student newspaper, charging that the school doesn’t do enough to protect victims on its campus.
In an op/ed entitled “It’s Me, One of Your Statistics — And I Have Something to Say to You, Harvard,” the anonymous author criticizes the school for not providing rape kits to students in its health center, and said the school “failed” her when she needed it most.
She calls for the school to provide those kits to students, shortening the length of a the school’s 6-to-12 month disciplinary process, allowing students to go to class without having to face their attacker and by making dorms more secure.
Despite receiving a positive rape kit at a city hospital, the woman wrote, her attacker was nto suspended or expelled from the school.
“Harvard could not have saved me from that man, and I know that,” the student writes. “How could they possibly know that one of their own was a predator masquerading as a student? Prevention is extremely difficult in cases of sexual assault, and, honestly, the best we can do is try to change rape culture and raise children who understand consent and respect.
“But Harvard could have helped me afterwards, and they didn’t...It didn’t fully hit me then — I was far too numb. But later, after having to get an Uber to a hospital in the city and waiting three hours for the specialized nurse to arrive, the anger came.
“College campuses are notorious for their high instances of rape and sexual assault. Yet my university, the greatest and wealthiest in the world, could not even provide me a rape kit. I could not go to the health center that I was comfortable with. I was referred to an enormous, foreign hospital across the city feeling even more scared and vulnerable than I had before. It still shocks me.
As Jezebel notes in its take on the letter, most colleges don’t have rape kits available to students. Of the top 100 colleges ranked in the U.S. News and World Report for 2014, only four provide the exams to students in crisis.