Wednesday, May 07, 2008

News Flash: College Senior Fights Back

This story was posted on today, about a journalist who told her story of assault.
Excerpts from that posting are below:

"Melissa Bruen, the outgoing editor-in-chief of the UConn Daily Campus decided to write a first-person essay about her sexual assault as her last act as EIC. In late April, UConn had its annual spring weekend — a drunken rite that occurs at most colleges during the hazy end of spring semester. Bruen was walking home from parties at off-campus apartments on a path affectionately known to Huskies as "rape trail." She decided to make a phone call, and, as she was leaning against a telephone pole, a large man shoved her against the pole and "dry humped" her. Bruen, who had been assaulted before, decided to take action. She pushed him away, and when she had him pinned to the ground, punched him smack in the face. A group of men who had been watching this all go down eventually pulled Bruen off her assailant, who ran off. She started screaming, "He just assaulted me," and that's when one of the violence voyeurs said to her, "You think that was assault?", pulled down her shirt, and grabbed her breasts.

As Bruen tells it:

More men started to cheer. It didn't matter to the drunken mob that my breasts were being shown or fondled against my will. They were happy to see a topless girl all the same. I punched him in the face, and someone shoved me into a throng of others. I was surrounded, but I kept swinging and hitting until I was able to break free of the circle they had formed.

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville says that Bruen's story shows that teaching women self-defense alone is not going to fix the rape problem. "Addressing the issues of the men who assaulted her, and the larger culture that facilitates that kind of behavior and the attitudes underlying it, needs to be a part of comprehensive rape prevention," McEwan argues. "Self-defense doesn't stop rapists from being created in the first place."

Read Bruen's original article here: My Spring Weekend Nightmare

And check out the full post on Jezebel here: College Senior Is Sexually Assaulted While Group of Guys Cheer.


engage brain said...

What happened to this woman was horrific and unforgivable. I was curious as to why she chose to walk home alone at night along a path "affectionately known as "rape trail" and I did not see that explained in the article.

There is something seriously wrong with people who use a term like "rape trail" with any sort of lightheartedness, much less affection. And where was the judgment of the person who chose to stop, lean on a pole, and make a phone call in an area named for sexual assault?

What happened to her should never have happened no matter what the path is called, but common sense and a bit of forethought might possibly have kept her out of a dangerous area where these thugs felt that they could get away with attacking her.

Been There, Learned to Kick said...

So - I guess you won't post a comment that points out how walking alone on something called a "rape trail" could possibly have been a bad decision.

The women in the article states that she had been attacked once before, yet she still makes the choice to walk the rape trail on a major party weekend? Sorry, but that is STUPID!

Women shouldn't have to worry about such things. We should be able to walk where ever and when ever we want to and be able to trust that men will not act like beasts. However, the fact of the matter is that we cannot do this. There are always going to be the bad ones in the bunch that we have to watch out for (and punch in the face, if necessary) but taking proper precautions and using some common sense might cut down on opportunities for the beasts among us to see us as prey.