First off I just want to say this blog expresses only my views and thoughts, has nothing to do with the charity, and could have occurred at any school in the world. I still love Africa and I love USIU.
So I have always promised to be open and honest in my blog, so here is me being honest about my most horrifying moment at USIU. The names have not been changed, for the innocent have no reason to be ashamed.
The reason I came home for the summer is because I was sexually assaulted by another student first semester. His name is Guled and I thought he was my friend.
I will not describe the attack as there is a line between honesty and having a private life. Let me say that I did get away with some severe scratches and a hysterical mindset. I ran to a friend’s house and cried in terror and humiliation.
The next morning it turned out things were going to get worse before they became a complete and fucking shitstorm.
I went to my school for help and did everything that was asked of me. I wrote statements, went to the clinic (given a tetanus shot and antibiotics), broke up with Wilson, felt like a public pariah, has my life put on trial, was no longer allowed to have boys in my room, had to switch classes to avoid him and people talked to me about it as if I had made it up or it wasn’t a large deal.
I did this all thinking I would get justice and after a disciplinary hearing was given the verdict that Guled would be suspended for 2 semesters, meaning until the end of this current semester.
It was this knowledge with my summer home that allowed me to come back to USIU.
So imagine my surprise when I saw my attacker in the library.
The school had let him back on campus, after one semester, and without informing me.
This presented a delicate situation.
My absence along with him being back fueled a ridiculous rumor mill with people thinking I made the whole thing up. But the rumors were not the worst.
I was hysterical when I first saw him, unable to go to class, to eat, to sleep for period longer then 4 hours or to speak to friends. But that was not the worst.
People came up to me and talked to me about my attack as if it were no big deal and wondered “would I squash the beef”? But this was not the worst.
The worst was feeling so betrayed by the school. The worst was living with the knowledge that I had gone through all of this for nothing.
The worst my girlfriends telling me about their own sexual assaults and how they refused to go to the authorities to avoid an experience like mine only to receive no justice.
That was the worst.
So now what was I to do?
My last blog was about how to I blend into Kenya? How do I maintain my background as well as live and work here?
But now my question is - what do I have a right to change?
After weeks of deliberation and wondering what my next move would be I decided that at this point I had a right to do whatever I damn well pleased. I decided to stomp my goddamned feet.
The way I did that was to walk over to the Vice Chancellor, President and real leader of this university, Dr. Frieda Brown, and ask for a meeting. To me delight this woman said yes.
Today was that meeting. I spent the first 20 minutes of it crying.
And the wonderful, beautiful, delightful Exhilarating thing was that this woman came down on my side and promised to look into my case.
But then quite suddenly, in reaction my stomping foot, the ground shifted.
It seems that I am the first girl to report a sexual assault at USIU. Woah. Now either I am a terrible anomaly or men here have been getting away with this shit for way to long.
Suddenly Vice Chancellor Brown was talking about policy changes, mandatory counseling, a women’s empowerment group- No! A women’s empowerment seminar! (My idea) - New training for the entire faculty, basically what amounted to a complete system overhaul.
And may I reiterate. Woah.
And with a pep talk and a promise to get back to me in 48 hours I left her office and stumbled into the daylight.
But now I wonder, do I have any part in this overhaul?
Is it my responsibility now to make sure all these things happen? Should I be the one to encourage open communication about this subject? About any subject?
Could I possibly have that kind of strength in me?
The thing is I’m a little exhausted what with the assault and the work with Small Planet Big Plans and the drought to take care of. I’d also like to fit a date it at one point or another.
If I become active in this cause then not only will my story be public (which it kind of already is) but I have a feeling the boys won’t be so friendly.
But if the boys are going to stick together like that (because god help us all. It can’t be a whole campus of assholes can it?) Then shouldn’t us women too?
I’ve always said that every facet of life is intimately related, and I also believe that about people. So shouldn’t all of the women here, regardless of class or creed, stick together to scream we will not take this shit a second longer?
And if all of us women have a responsibility to each other then do I have a choice but to scream at the top of my lungs until some things start to change around here? Isn’t it my duty to reach out? It seems I have no options but to do my part.
But then again I question. Just who the hell do I think I am?
I guess the answer is I am the first woman to go public as a sexual assault victim at this school. And I do not feel ashamed one little bit.
Oh and about those rumors? I forgive the girls for spreading them. I think it’s mostly weak minded girls who feel that need to be “one of the boys”. But if anyone gives me an ounce of crap I will have to correct them quite severely. Although I doubt anyone will be that brave.
Anyway guys here I am once again laid bare. Hope you enjoyed it.
If anyone wants to e-mail me about this one I can be reached at email@example.com
Stay safe boys and girls!