A N AT I O N A L PA C E M A K E R AWA R D N E W S PA P E R
n o i t i d E l a i c Spe Sexual Assault on campus theswcsun.com
Volume 60, Issue 7/Special Edition
Campus sexual assault one year later: 'A Sick Cultural Norm' continues to worsen
One year ago the Southwestern College Sun published a controversial 16-page special edition focused on campus sexual assault – including assault on our campus. We sent two journalists to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to cover a powerful anti-assault rally featuring Vice President Joe Biden and rock superstar Lady Gaga. We reported that one in five women are sexually assaulted at their colleges and 1 in 16 men. One year later we asked ourselves if the situation in America and at Southwestern College has improved. The answer is a resounding no. Sexual assault in our nation and on our campus is actually worse. The election of Donald Trump, a documented misogynist, as the President of the United States, has made a bad situation for women even more tenuous. Just this month he embraced serial sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly while threatening Planned Parenthood with defunding. Across Trump Country “Daddy Donald” is saying through his words and actions that sexual assault is okay. He is part of the reason that now one in four college women are assaulted and one in 10 men are victims of rape. At SWC, impossible as it may sound, the situation is much worse. A stunning lawsuit by a former student worker in the SWC Campus Police Department accuses three male employees of systemic sexual harassment over a two-year period, culminating in an attempted gang rape of the woman by police employees inside SWCPD headquarters. Even more stunning is her description of how the situation was mishandled by campus police chief Michael Cash. According to the lawsuit brief, she
reported the harassment and misogynistic behavior to Cash, who then violated her confidence and told the defendants. They were not investigated or punished. A second young woman who used to work in the SWCPD said she is planning to file a similar sexual harassment suit. Certainly the men accused have the right to due process and are innocent until proven guilty, but matters continue to trend badly for Cash and the SWCPD. Trust is dribbling away. One would think our campus police would learn from past mistakes such as promising escorts for threatened women but not showing up, refusing to open the door to the police department after hours when a rape victim desperately pounded on it, failing to keep accurate crime reports, questioning the way sexual assault victims were dressed and openly laughing off published accounts of sexual assaults in meetings of college administrators. They learned nothing. Our sexual assault issue was inspired by a lesson we learned from Cash, Dean Mia McClellan and some high-ranking college administrators -- it is too easy for authorities to blow off sexual assault if women will not come forward and if they will not allow the news media to use their names and images. So we put out a call for women to come forward and they did. Courageous and proud young women shed to the taboos of shame and the cloaks of silence draped over them for years. They came forward, they told their painful stories, they signed their names and they stood for photographs. As the voices of these rape victims rose, Cash and McClellan fell suddenly silent. The mocking and disrespecting of sexual assault victims stopped, at least out in the open. Cash is on administrative leave and McClellan was shuffled away to a job where she supposedly cannot hurt students anymore. Why they still work here at all is a mystery and a large of part the reason that Southwestern College is so dysfunctional. Behavior that enables rape culture and sexual assault should not be tolerated. Administrators who re-traumatized sexual assault victims should not be tolerated. Administrators who are too lazy or too disinterested to assist sexual assault victims should not be tolerated. People like Cash and McClellan who have consistently demonstrated these behaviors should be terminated and made a public example of. A symbolic head on a pike on the college lawn would send a clear message to other would-be sexual misconduct enablers that this institution is changing. Otherwise, the problem rolls along for another year, another decade, another generation. SWC is, of course, not the only campus with a sexual assault problem. Women suffer sexual abuse at colleges and universities across the nation. Amy Ziering, the producer of “The Hunting Ground,” the Academy Award-nominated documentary which rattled America with its stark look at sexual assault and rape on our nation’s college and university campuses, summed it up best. “Colleges are target-rich environments for predators with weak enforcement mechanisms,” she said. “The message to victims is clear, even if you speak up you are not going to win.” Our new college president Dr. Kindred Murillo, Governing Board President Tim Nader and Trustee Nora Vargas have all said forcefully that the culture at Southwestern College needs to change. That is a tall order that will require bold strokes, including the termination of employees who contribute to rape culture by ignoring sexual harassment complaints, insulting victims, laughing off “boys will be boys” behavior, protecting predatory employees, pushing aside complaints out of laziness, falsifying crime data and sweeping problems under the proverbial rug. New board policies on sexual misconduct are a very promising start. Sexual assault needs to move up to the top part of the agenda along with accreditation, construction and finance. Our college has taken its eye off the ball. While our leaders (and lawyers) are wrestling with racial tension among squabbling employees, upheaval in our campus technology and other self-inflicted wounds, concerns of students – particularly young females – are being treated as secondary issues. We hate to restate the obvious, but this college is here to serve students. It is a place of teaching and learning. Everything else should take a backseat. Title IX says that women have the right to equal access to public education. They do not have equal access if they are not safe. Changing a college’s culture will not be easy. Ours took half a century to develop and fester. But change can happen. Our governing board proved that in 2011 when it forcefully and decisively changed the corrupt culture of the college’s purchasing, bidding and awarding of contracts following the South Bay Corruption Scandal. Trustees Norma Hernandez and Nader were part of that board. Trustees Vargas, Roberto Alcantar and Griselda Delgado ran for the board promising to continue the process of cleaning up this institution. We need bold strokes again. We need to make some big changes. We need to rid the college of people who have old fashioned ideas about sexual assault and sexual misconduct just as we had to rid the college of people who had old fashioned ideas about pay-for-play, intimidation and silencing free speech. In 2011 Mrs. Hernandez declared in a loud, clear voice that “The pay-for-play era at Southwestern College is over.” It was her “Ich bin ein Berliner” moment. We need a board member to say “The sexual assault era at Southwestern College is over.” A year has gone by and we are waiting. The Editorial Board Southwestern College Sun
Sexual Assault by the Numbers — A Growing Problem 1 IN 4
WOMEN ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED WHILE IN COLLEGE
1 IN 10
RAPE VICTIMS ARE MALE
OF SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES DO NOT REPORT
Statistics from The Hunting Ground and RAINN
Mirella Lopez, editor
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: email@example.com
Former student sues PD for harassment
New policies will address campus sexual misconduct By Katy Stegall Viewpoints Editor
Screenshot from ABC 10 By Alejandro Muñoz Anguiano Staff Writer
A former SWCPD student worker filed a lawsuit alleging sexual assault, civil rights violations and a hostile work environment in the campus police department. She also claims to have experienced long-term sexual harassment and witnessed sexual harassment directed towards other women. Court documents filed with the Superior Court detail repeated sexual harassment the anonymous victim, Jane Doe, alleges to have experienced from Oct. 2014 to Oct. 31, 2016. A “right-to-sue” letter signifying that Doe had exhausted all other administrative courses of action was issued by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in February. Doe is suing the college, former employee Kevin McKean, Emergency Management Officer Joseph Martorano and Cpl. Ricardo Suarez. She said in the charge document that she reported sexual harassment to SWCPD Chief Michael Cash, but that he did nothing to assist her. She is seeking damages and civil penalties. “In addition to sexually charged and vulgar comments made towards Doe,” the document says, “she was also sexually assaulted by one coworker at her workplace while another coworker aided and abetted in the sexual assault.” Doe claimed McKean sexually assaulted her while Martorano aided and abetted by luring her into a storage room and shutting her in. “McKean forcefully grabbed her, turned her around, bent her over the sink and proceeded to force his groin into Doe’s buttocks area,” the lawsuit reads. “As Doe struggled to get loose, McKean stuck his tongue in Doe’s mouth as he tried to forcefully remove the clothing from her body.” Documents say Doe believed this was a rape attempt, but she did not report this incident because of trauma, humiliation and fear of reprisal from command. In July of 2015, the documents state, Martorano asked Doe if “her boyfriend knew she had ‘fucked Kevin (McKean)’” in front of a student worker. Doe was a student when the SWCPD hired her as a Public Safety Assistant in January 2014. Court papers claim the problem began when Suarez returned to work from leave in fall 2014 and reportedly asked Doe for nude photos, inquired about her sex life and shared unsolicited details about his sex life. In January 2015 Suarez told Doe to grow her hair longer because he likes to pull on long hair during sex, according to documents. The lawsuit also states Suarez bragged for months about seeing a female employee's undergarments when strong winds blew her dress up. Suarez allegedly also bragged about walking in on another employee changing in the women’s locker room. The employee said she saw texts on Suarez’s phone about herself written in a “sexual nature.” Doe stated that complaints to supervisors, including Cash, were ignored or mishandled. In July of 2015, Doe complained to Suarez, her immediate supervisor, about
Martorano’s behavior. “Suarez did absolutely nothing to investigate Doe’s complaint or discipline Martorano for his inappropriate behavior,” court documents say. “Instead, Suarez’ solution was to move Doe away from Martorano (into) a back office where she was relegated to doing needless busy work in order to kill time.” Doe then complained anonymously about Martorano to Cash, court papers say, but Cash revealed to Martorano that Doe was the source of the complaint. “As a result,” papers say, “the tension in the office grew more unbearable for Doe, especially when she worked near Martorano, who continued to repeatedly harass her.” In November 2015, Suarez advised Doe not to complain to Cash again because he favored Martorano, the suit states. Suarez said he would talk to the chief, but the court documents say that he never followed through. Suarez advised Doe to apply for a Campus Security Officer (CSO) position so she would not have to work near Martorano, and in January 2016 she was informed that she was not selected for the position. Around that time, Suarez was promoted to Corporal, and he denied Doe’s request for a transfer to a clerical position on grounds that Martorano worked near the clerks and her complaint against Martorano would “bar her transfer.” Suarez said she would be granted the transfer if she remained silent about Martorano, Doe charged. “I was denied transfer opportunities that would have lessened my contact with the individuals who were sexually harassing me and was told by one supervisor that I would have gotten the transfer I requested had I not complained about the sexual harassment I experienced,” court documents say. In spring 2016, Sgt. Robert Sanchez told Doe he would grant the transfer if she could work with Martorano. Doe agreed, and as a result she saw Cpl. Suarez less often. Suarez, however continued to harass her, according to the lawsuit.. “Suarez continued to make inappropriate remarks about Doe’s body and clothing and expressed how much more he preferred looking at her body as a clerk than when Doe would wear the (Public Safety Assistant) uniform,” reads the court document. The complaint states the harassment by all three McKean, Suarez and Martorano continued until Doe was relocated off the main campus in October 2016. Marlea Dell’Anno, the attorney who filed the complaint, was formerly in charge of the city’s criminal division as an assistant San Diego City Attorney. She recently initiated a lawsuit against former San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for wrongful termination. Her law firm has not replied to interview requests. SWC officials is currently reviewing the complaint, according to a written statement. “The District is reviewing the complaint and takes such claims very seriously,” their statement said. “The District will take appropriate action, as needed, to prevent workplace harassment and to remediate any instances of harassment that are found to have occurred.” Also named in the suit are 20 “Roes,” unnamed people who could become potential defendants in the future. Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from The Southwestern College Sun, April 11, 2017
Effects of sexual assault can last a lifetime By Mirella Lopez Editor-in-Chief
Sexual assault – like military combat – affects everyone differently, but it can be a devastating life-long wound without treatment and therapy. Psychology instructor Shannon Pagano, the advisor of the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Club, is an expert on sexual assault and the trauma it causes. Lopez: What are the psychological affects a victim of sexual assault? Pagano: Inability to trust. Reluctance to get into a sexual relationship in the future. Difficulty enjoying sex in the future, even once trust has been established. Everything that looks like PTSD. Hyper vigilance, inability to able to relax. Can you give an example of PTSD symptoms the victim will face? A most significant element to PTSD is reliving the experience, which is totally different from remembering it. You can remember something that happened and it’s just like looking at a picture of it. But reliving the experience is a full-body experience. How can being sexually assaulted affect the daily life of the victim? Everything that looks like PTSD, so the person might have flashbacks, they might have certain things that trigger
it. For instance, if the assailant was wearing a cologne or chewing gum or anything that can be associated with a smell. Flashbacks can be brought on by just about anything. What if the victim is too scared to ask for help? Denial and avoidance do not change a thing. The pit that you swallowed started out as really small, a little grain of rice, and the longer that pit stays swallowed, the bigger it gets until it’s a mass that you’re choking on. You can’t focus on anything because the pit is so overwhelming. So all those things that look like strength, are not strength. We don’t heal until we allow ourselves to sit in the pain. That’s the first step. The first step to recovery? You survive sexual assault, you do not get over it. Victims often say “I just want to get over it. I just want to get past it.” You never will. This is hard for people to accept, because they want to forget what happened. What therapists want survivors to do is what we call “reorganizing.” It’s the final stage in dealing with sexual assault. Reorganizing implies that you’re not forgetting that it happened. What you’re doing is taking the assault and integrating it into your personal framework of who you are because once it’s happened, it’ll never be undone. Is there a way for someone to
move forward from their assault even if they don’t go to a therapist? I’m not gonna say you have to see a therapist or you’re never going to be okay. Help can come from many places: your support system, your best friend, a circle of friends, family, church and any combination. Men often deny raping the victim. How does that affect the victim? For the survivor to have to hear, “yeah, we had sex but it was consensual” can be very confusing. Especially if there was any alcohol involved. There is self-doubt that comes out. Did I? Am I not remembering? What’s my role in this? Women blame themselves, so it’s very easy for us to fall in that pit. What is a man’s emotional reaction to being sexually assaulted? Men deny. Men go into a deeplyrooted place of denial because for a man to be sexually assaulted, either by a woman or by another man, typically brings up major issues in their sexual identity and masculinity. When a man is sexually assaulted it’s a direct attack against their identity, everything that it means to be a man. Why don’t victims report their assault? Women don’t report because they’re afraid of repercussions. Men are taught that they are not allowed to express emotions. We tell our little
boys not to cry. Men can’t properly identify what they’re feeling. How do victims who have been sexually assaulted multiple times react differently? They start to have this internal monologue that says “There must be something about me. Why would it happen to me? There must be something that I’m putting out there.” Women think that if they are ugly or make themselves unattractive, they’re going to protect themselves from being assaulted again because they have placed the responsibility entirely on themselves. What causes assailants to rape? Rape and sexual assault have nothing to do with sex. It boils down to power. Violence is about gaining control. Sex is the vehicle, but it is not about sex. You call sexual assault victims “survivors. “Victim” removes their power and that’s already been done enough. Our justice system often allows assailants to go free. How does that affect survivors? Don’t hitch your recovery on justice. (Recovery and justice) are two completely different things. The longer you say “I can’t get better unless he goes to jail,” the longer you are allowing him to control you. Transcribed by Elizabeth Farin
College trustees are pushing administration to update sexual misconduct policies, hire an effective Title IX officer, and start changing the campus culture as it relates to sexual assault and rape. President Dr. Kindred Murillo said Board Policy 3540, a handbook of the college’s new sexual misconduct rules, has been drafted and will be presented to the governing board soon. “We’re actually very excited because this handbook provides the information on how to file, what to do and resources for support,” Murillo said. “We want to act on a complaint, but we also want to provide resources. That sometimes gets left out.” BP 3540 was modeled after a policy developed by the Orange Coast Community College District, she said. It will more clearly define what constitutes sexual misconduct, how to educate the SWC community and provide staff with procedures on how to handle sexual misconduct. Murillo said hiring a qualified Title IX officer is another priority. SWC has had a series of temporary and short-lived appointees to the position, including Dr. Donna Arnold, who is now suing the college for racial discrimination. “(The hiring committee) is based on our policies and procedures for hiring an administrator,” she said. “Then they’ll go through a first and second level interview.” Colleges and universities that receive federal funding are required to employ a Title IX officer to uphold and investigate acts of gender biases or sexual misconduct. SWC has been rife with complaints by students and employees about rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. A former Campus Police student worker recently filed a lawsuit charging three campus police employees with attempted rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment that spanned two years. She also charged that Campus Police Chief Michael Cash was complicit and did nothing when she reported the alleged misconduct to him. There is currently no Title IX officer at SWC following the resignation of Traci Beccera. Murillo said the college is taking seriously the absence of a Title IX officer and will insist on a proper interview process. Student leaders and some members of the faculty have worked together to increase awareness about sexual assault and Title IX. Dean of Student Services Dr. Malia Flood and ASO Vice President of Public Relations Nada Dibas said an informational flier is in process. They took on the task of condensing the wordy federal law into more easily understood language. Dibas said it is imperative that students know their rights and speak up when they see sexual misconduct. “I didn’t title it Title IX because I feel like no one knows (what it is),” she said. “When you start off with Title IX, it’s either instantly a turn off for some people or they think it doesn’t relate to them.” Title IX is a game-changing regulation written by former Hawaii Congresswoman Patsy Mink known for its protection against gender discrimination in college sports. Dibas said many people do not realize that besides leveling the sports playing field for women, Title IX strongly condemns and forbids campus sexual misconduct. At Southwestern College, Title IX violations have most commonly related to sexual misconduct, including some high-profile cases of administrators harassing students or looking the other way. Murillo said SWC meets the athletic gender requirements well, but that society has not paid enough attention to sexual misconduct issues in the past. Flood agreed. “The thing we see the most of is unwelcomed sexual conduct,” she said. Flood has added a PowerPoint slide about sexual misconduct to SWC’s student orientation. An information video was also included in the orientation presentation. ASO is currently writing a resolution that would take information from the Flood-Dibas Title IX fact sheet and put it on larger stickers that will be mounted in every bathroom on campus. Dibas said their goal is to educate people throughout the college on how to handle a sexual assault as a victim or as the person entrusted with the information about sexual misconduct. “It’s really common for students on campus,” she said. “They go through this stuff and they feel helpless and it sucks because the system is not in favor of everyone. We do what we can to try and get that out there. It’s important.” Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from The Southwestern College Sun, April 11, 2017
The Southwestern College Sun
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Former student guilty in SDSU sexual assault arrested in Arizona By Alejandro Munoz Anguiano, Josh Navarro and Danielle Eldridge Staff Writers
A serial campus sexual assaulter detained and released by Southwestern College Campus Police in September 2015 has been arrested again, this time in Flagstaff, Arizona. Glenn Balancar, a former SWC student, pleaded guilty to three counts of battery at SDSU last year. He was placed on three years probation after a six-month stint in county jail. Balancar ignited a controversy at SWC when campus police released him without charging him with sexual assault even though he touched a woman’s thigh near her vagina. A week after his release by SWCPD, he assaulted several women at SDSU. Balancar was originally charged with 10 misdemeanor counts, including sexual battery, at SWC and SDSU in September 2015. Besides probation, he was required to undergo psychological evaluation and has a restraining order for all 10 victims as well as the entire SDSU and SWC campuses. Balancar was recently arrested by Flagstaff Police and charged with two counts of sexual abuse and one count of assault, according to the Arizona Daily Sun. Jane Doe (a pseudonym), an SWC student harassed by Balancar in September 2015, said he inappropriately touched her inner thigh while she studied in the library. “You know how small talk slowly ends and you expect them to leave?” she said. “Instead he stayed and his presence was bothering me. I put my headphones in and that’s when he started brushing on me. I began to feel really uncomfortable and it was very scary.” She moved to a different chair to get away from Balancar, she said, but he followed her and used chairs to block her from escaping. English major Cristofer Garcia said he was present in the library and saw Balancar approach Doe. “When he removed the chairs, that was the moment I realized something was really wrong,” he said. Doe said she was grateful for Garcia’s intervention. “When I saw (Garcia) I ran to him, then I just grabbed him and told him (Balancar was) touching me and broke down crying,” said Doe. Alex Tovar, a nursing major and classmate of Doe, said he had returned to see her crying. After Doe told him what had happened, Tovar encouraged her to file a report with the campus police. “If it wasn’t for (Alex), I would have never reported it,” said Doe.
“I was dumbfounded. I didn't think that an authority figure would say something like that, like it was my fault." Jane Doe Assault Victim
Doe said the trauma did not end there. She said the officer that accompanied her to the police station to file the report made comments that offended her. “He said, ‘Well of course that happened to you, look at what you are wearing,’” Doe said. “I was dumbfounded. I didn’t think that an authority figure would say something like that, like it was my fault.” Before Doe came forward, the police received two anonymous reports through email that correlated with Balancar’s description, said SWC Police Chief Michael Cash. It was not enough to detain Balancar or turn him over to Chula Vista Police, he said. “If I can’t go back and find the person that made the report, when I stop
the (suspect) and he asks me ‘why I am being stopped?’ I have to let him go if I can’t find the person that initiated the report,” he said. “No victim, no crime.” Sexual assault victims and women’s safety advocates on campus criticized the decision to release Balancar. Cash insisted that Balancar did not commit sexual assault. “One of the biggest misnomers is what happened with Balancar,” he said. “What he did (at SWC) was battery, what he did at SDSU was a sexual battery. Battery is if someone is touching you and it’s against your will. Sexual battery, you have to touch an intimate part of a women’s body, anything that would be considered a sexual place. We have to go by the penal code definition.” Cash said SWCPD released Balancar because under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and college policy, Balancar was cited for a misdemeanor charge of battery against a female student and not sexual assault. Five days later Balancar groped or sexually battered a series of SDSU students. He was detained and then arrested by SDSU Police. The San Diego City Attorney Office pressed charges and convicted him in Superior Court. Former Chief Deputy City Attorney Nicole Crosby said if Balancar were to violate his probation he would face a year and a half of jail time. “He’s already done six months in jail,” she said. “He has to do a psychiatric evaluation, he has to stay away from all the victims, Southwestern College and San Diego State.” Crosby said Balancar has a Fourth (Amendment) Waiver, meaning his person, home or vehicle can be searched at any time. Cash said it is important for women to speak up in order to stop assailants. “If the last girl that spoke up hadn’t, we would have never got (Balancar),” he said. “We would have had to wait for another victim to come forward.” Cash said VAWA allows the police to keep the victims anonymous after they have come forward. “That’s normal for a lot of young ladies because they do not know how to really come out and express themselves,” he said. “They are a little nervous and don’t know how or where to get the information.” Students can call or make anonymous tips to the police through the use of the MyPD App. Cash said the most effective way to make a difference, however, is by coming forward in person to the campus police department. EDITOR’S NOTE: Cash was interviewed for this story prior to being put on administrative leave by the college.
Activist calls on men to fight sexual violence at SWC
Jeffrey Bucholtz By Jeanette Sandoval Assistant Arts Editor
Rape is a plague that has damaged men and women, that continues to be an epidemic on college campuses. But there is hope. Jeffrey Bucholtz, co-director of We End Violence, said men are the key. “Men were not doing enough,” he said. “Rape culture is changeable. This is something we can actually change, something we can actually fix.” Bucholtz gave his nationally-renowned Men Against Rape presentations to an audience at SWC. He said America’s entertainment media spreads harmful and irresponsible messages about sex. “The (entertainment) media represents sex as if it’s out of our control, making it seem so spontaneous and powerful,” he said. This idea is incredibly dangerous or “rapey” sounding, said Bucholtz. Unhealthy representation of sex in the
entertainment media is at an all-time high, he said. Americans 25 and younger consume four times the amount of sexual propaganda than any previous generation, he said. Bucholtz said technology makes pornography easily available. Content analysis of the 100 most popular porn videos showed that 85 percent had direct physical violence against women and used degrading language, said Bucholtz. Degrading language dehumanizes women, he said, and makes it easier for an attacker to justify the assault. “Every time we use the word ‘slut,’ we are teaching rapists it is OK,” said Bucholtz. The phrase “sluts don’t deserve respect” is a foundational problem, he said, and central to a rapist’s perception of women. “Rapists believe sluts don’t deserve respect,” said Bucholtz. “Therefore, all women are sluts and sluts don’t deserve respect.” Under this twisted logic, Bucholtz
said, no woman deserves respect. This thinking devalues all women, making it easier for rapists to rationalize assaulting them with, “That slut got what she deserved.” Bucholtz called on the audience to challenge people who talk like that. “We have the opportunity to change this,” he said. “It is not just the person who says it that is dangerous, it’s the person who hears it and says nothing.” Bucholtz spoke of a woman from SDSU who was raped by two fellow students. She said she felt the rape was her fault because she was sexually active. “Society has groomed her to think that because she is promiscuous she no longer gets to decide who she has sex with,” he said. When the woman confided to a friend, she was not supportive, said Bucholtz. “What do we do?” he said. “We blame the victim, not the rapist.” This creates an unsafe environment for victims, making reporting rape much harder, he said.
American cultural mythology says that rape is a crime that only effects women. Men are raped, too. One in nine men will be raped in their lifetime, said Bucholtz. “It takes a man 20 years longer than a woman to report abuse,” he said. One in five women will be raped and one in 10 men will be a rapist, said Bucholtz. In 75 percent of rape cases, the rapist is someone the victim knows. On a college campus 80 percent of rape involve someone the victim knows. There were 23 more reported rapes in 2015 than the previous year, a total of 63, according to the automated Regional Justice Information System of Chula Vista. From December 2015 to March 2016, there were 23 reported rapes in Chula Vista. There were 12 reported rapes in surrounding community colleges since 2012, according to community colleges’ daily crime reports. SWC’s Amanda Windmann, 24, a kinesiology major, said the college needs better lighting. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays I leave this school at about 6:15 p.m., so it’s very dark and my hands are full of my art supplies,” she said. Diana Pacheco, 23, an Italian major, suggested more lights in parking lots. “My sister used to come at night and she would tell me she doesn’t like walking at night, that (it) would be kind of creepy,” said Pacheco. “One of my friends used to take night classes and she’s like, ‘It’s so scary to be out here by yourself walking to the parking lot.’” SWC is not standing still, said Bu c h o t l z . Ti t l e I X C o m p l i a n c e Coordinator is the primary report on college campuses for any sexual discriminatory acts. These acts include rape, sexual assault and harassment. There is, however, currently no Title IX coordinator appointed. Former Title IX Officer Tracy Becerra stepped down and no interim coordinator has been appointed. SWC provides free bilingual healthy relationship classes, as well as other personal wellness services including, free therapy sessions that are available to any student who wants it, said marriage and family therapist intern Lina Shipton. Appointments can be made through Personal Wellness Services in the Counseling Center. “Agent of Change” is an online program accessible to all SWC students through the We End Violence Foundation. This program provides further education on preventing sexual assaults, Bucholtz said. He encouraged additional training for counseling staff to help victims of sexual assault. Bucholtz gave the audience five categories of sex – good sex, sloppy sex, bad sex, regretted sex and sexual violence. By the end of the seminar, members of the audience said sexual
violence did not belong in the same category as the first four. The first four categories are consensual sex. Sexual violence is not consensual. When someone else chooses for you and you lose the option to decide over your own body, that is rape, said Bucholtz. “Yes means yes,” he said. “Everything else means no.” Yes Means Yes is a California law focused on sexual violence on college campuses. Approved in 2014, it raised the legal standard of what is considered consensual sex. A clear, verbal yes from a partner is required for consensual sex. Partners who are unconscious or unable to speak cannot give consent and to have sex with such a person is now considered rape under the law. “There is only one thing that causes rape,” said Bucholtz, “the people who choose to do it.” Bucholtz said men seldom attend his presentations unless they are part of a class or they go with their girlfriends. “Only when the men are forced into the room,” he said. “The football team is always forced into the room when I give these seminars.” Bucholtz made his audience ask the most important question, how do we get consent? “Why don’t we just ask?” he said. One audience member suggested guys do not ask because they do not want to hear no, another “rapey” concept, Bucholtz said. “When they don’t accept no, then you might start thinking that they’ll never accept no,” he said. “Nonverbal is way creepier than just straight up asking.” Society teaches that it is not considered sexy to ask for consent. Communicating with your potential partner is the most important aspect of your experience, said Bucholtz, and the best way to improve both parties’ experience. He shared his favorite phrase a previous student had come up with. “Can I help you find your orgasm?” he said. “Because someone who you want to hook up with asking you if you want to hook up is incredibly sexy. Even when it’s asked unsexy, it’s still sexy if it’s someone you want to be with.” Putting this question into play makes the person seem lighthearted while making their intentions clear, said Bucholtz. Rape is 100 percent preventable, said Bucholtz, and there is hope. In the last 30 years, many colleges and universities have made progress. “Our next step is to make people feel more comfortable and have more skills and feel like they know how to have this conversation,” he said. “Not with everyone, but at least with someone. That will help us make survivors feel more safe and welcome. That will help us prevent rapists from thinking that we think like them.”
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
It can be a long road to recovery for SWC
A By Bo Chen-Samuel Staff Writer
fter sexual assault, hope is not enough. An assault may be brief, but healing is usually a long and difficult process. “When a woman is sexually assaulted, she may lose the ability to think straight for a moment,” said Mike Smith, a Southwestern College women’s health instructor. “She’s had her dignity taken from her, her body taken from her, a part of who she is taken from her. She is very deeply injured both physically and emotionally.” Shannon Pagano, an SWC psychology instructor, said there are two very different challenges for victims. “The journey of the victims towards their healing from inside and the journey to look for help though the legal system,” she said.
1. It’s Not Your Fault Experts say it is important Smith concurred. for sexual assault victims to “Women feel that since I am acknowledge the situation and “Being part of this culture, I must have understand that they did nothing sexually done something wrong,” he said. wrong. “She did nothing wrong. There is “It is not your fault,” Pagano assaulted no shame in being a victim.” said. “You may not believe that, is a Smith called rape a crime of but that is the goal.” violence, not a crime of sexuality. traumatic Pagano said rape is never about Forgetting it is not realistic. “Being sexually assaulted is a event. Our sex, it is about power. traumatic event,” she said. “Our There are three types of rapists, bodies bodies remember trauma even said Pagano. Opportunistic rapists remember are those who do not set out to when our brains try to forget.” Tobeka Robbin, a psychology trauma rape, but had the opportunity and instructor, agreed. decided to do it. Vengeful rapists “You cannot forget you were even are those who rape out of anger. raped,” she said. “The memory is when our A sadistic rapist is someone who already a part of you.” “does it out of the blue.” Smith said facing the memories brains “Different types of rapists have try to is an essential part of healing. different kinds of power they want “To ignore it and think you can forget.” to get,” she said. “It is never about walk away from it is going to hurt sexual arousal.” you in a long run,” he said. “There Robbin agreed. is no magic. It doesn’t go away.” “They have people to have sex Shannon Pagano Robbin said shame and guilt with,” she said. “They picked you often stop a victim from talking Psychology not for sex.” about the event and looking for Instructor Smith said rape is usually very help. random. “We have a culture of blaming “You are the wrong person at the women,” she said. “She blames herself the wrong time in the wrong place,” he said. because she believes somebody is going to “You have no control over that. You didn’t blame her.” do anything wrong.”
3. What makes a crime? “A battery is a crime,” he said. “At it is student misconduct, sexual minimum the person will receive a battery or sexual assault — campus misdemeanor release citation, which “After a police are supposed to report it to the is classified as an arrest. The only dean of student services. In order to difference is that the person does not student evaluate the situation, student services physically go to jail.” reports an is supposed to call the student who A misdemeanor release citation incident, committed the alleged misconduct has a date and time to appear at the or crime for an interview. Depending county courthouse, at which time the campus on the severity of the incident, the accused will be asked if he or she wants police are person may get suspended, removed to plead guilty or not guilty. from class, transferred to another class “The person can leave with this supposed or even expelled, said Sanchez. In ticket,” said Sanchez. “We can restrict to report recent years, however, several victims the person from entering our campus, of sexual assault and harassment have it to the but we cannot prevent this person told The Sun they did not receive help from doing it again. If this person dean of from the previous dean of student commits another crime while holding student services, Mia McClellan. Dr. Malia the citation, more than likely he’s Flood replaced McClellan earlier this services. going to jail.” year. McClellan no longer has any Sanchez said the police cannot arrest supervision of students or student the perpetrator if the victim does not safety. want them to. The victim must answer “Always report it,” Sanchez said. “Yes, I want to put him under arrest,” “You may not like the result, but let he said. the male know that it is not ok. You can help “If the misdemeanor is not presented in front prevent someone from getting raped in the of the officer, the victim of that crime must put future. Remember, they are predators. If you the person under arrest,” he said. don’t report it, they are not going to stop. They After a student reports an incident — whether will go from touching to groping to raping.”
2. Reporting to Campus Police When an SWC victim decides to seek help which is not a crime, said Sanchez. though the legal system, reporting assault to the Depending on “the level of intimacy,” whether campus police is only the beginning of the journey. or not there is a “bruise,” whether the person “said SWC Campus Police have faced severe criticism things aggressively” or tries to “grab the victim” so from campus rape and sexual assault victims in the he can “touch her private parts,” “we may write it past three years. Victims up as a sexual assault, have reported that campus if we can prove his police would not open the intentions,” Sanchez door when they knocked “The definition of sexual said. “It all depends following an assault, failed assault under United States on the individual case.” to return messages, failed When a victim to show up for promised Department of Education decides to report the campus escorts, blamed system is different. If someone incident, she should assault victims because of touches you against your will, be mindful of the the way they were dressed way she describes the and allowing perpetrators it's only a battery. Only when situation, said Sanchez. to stay on campus. a person touches your private Leaving out important SWCPD Sergeant Jorge details may reduce the Sanchez said the first thing parts is it considered a sexual chance of arresting the students should learn is assault.” predator on assault by the definition of “sexual making the incident assault.” only meet the criteria “The definition of sexual Jorge Sanchez of student misconduct assault under United States Former SWC Police Sergeant or battery. (Department) of Education “In order to issue the system and the criminal law cases to the (district) system is different,” he said. attorney’s office, certain “If someone only touches you against your will, it elements need to be met,” he said. “She needs is not sexual assault, it’s only a battery. Only when to describe the physical act such as if the person a person touches your private parts it is considered grabbed her, if there was a bruise. She also needs to a sexual assault.” describe the attacker’s mental state of mind, such as California Penal Code 243.4, California’s Sexual if the person said he was going to do things to her, Assault Law, prohibits “touching the intimate even in a text message.” part of another person for purposes of sexual “The more evidence they give us, the greater the gratification, arousal or abuse.” It defines intimate chances we will have to not only make an arrest, but parts as the “sexual organ, anus, groin or buttocks to get a conviction for sexual assault,” Sanchez said. of any person, and the breast of a female.” After conducting an investigation of the incident, If the situation does not meet the elements of a he said, campus police make the decision on how battery, it will be considered as student misconduct, to classify a victim’s report.
The Southwestern College Sun
students after suffering sexual assault 4. Campus Police and Students' Rights Any female student has the right to ask for a female police officer or medical examiner at any time. SWCPD however, does not have a “ woman officer. Students on campus can request an escort from 5 a.m. to midnight from Monday through Friday, said Sanchez. My Police Department App (MyPD) allows users to call and send questions and concerns to the SWCPD directly, he said. S a n c h e z s a i d S WC ’s n e w blue emergency poles are a new crimefighting tool. After activating a pole, he said, there will be voice assistant in seconds and a campus police officer within minutes. Poles
have cameras to capture the victim and any suspicious individuals nearby. Students who believe that campus police officers fail to provide help should report their complaint to Sanchez or SWCPD Chief Michael Cash. Sanchez said he would fire any police officer said anything to blame the victim after a sexual assault. If a student had to wait for an hour for a police officer to show up for an escort, that officer will be suspended, he said. “We are here for the students,” Sanchez said. “To serve the students we will do anything in our power to help.”
Any female student has the right to ask for a female police officer or medical examiner at any time.”
5. Get the Evidence/ Go to Court Another challenge a victim has to face is the process of collecting evidence. It takes strength, warned Smith. “Please never shower,” he said. “It is the hardest part. You have been totally assaulted and you want to get this off of you. But everything he touched, his semen, his body hair, his perspiration, all these are clues that leave behind evidence and that is how they get the bad guy. If you want to get that bad guy, you want to hold on to the evidence.” Pagano said that the physical examination can be extremely intrusive and painful. “The woman’s body will be photographed from head to toe, naked,” she said. “The woman also needs to take a vaginal examination, because they have to collect sample from inside of the vagina for DNA. They will also hand pull pubic hair from five different locations of the vagina, because they need the root to perform the DNA test.” A female victim has the right to require a female medical team to perform the
“How can you prove
what intention is? Intention is held within. It's not something observable.” Shannon Pagano Psychology Instructor physical exam, which may take hours, said Smith. “She will be there for a while, so it’s important for her to have some family or friends that she can trust to be with her,” he said. “It is difficult, but you have to maintain your sense of who you are, where you are and what is happening to get the evidence.” Many victims’ cases never stood a chance
to go to court. Those that did make it to court require prosecutors to prove intention. Pagano said that is very difficult. “How can you prove what someone’s intention is?” she said. “Intention is held within. It’s not something observable.” Many cases are dropped because the “intention to rape” cannot be proved, said Smith. “A lot of women are afraid of the charge process and they don’t charge,” he said. “When you go to court, the defense attorneys are going to rape you again on the stand. They will make you look like you are the bad person. You wanted it.” Smith said the “ultimate vengeance” is for the victim to see the perpetrator in court so the victim can “point her finger at him and let him be found guilty and sentenced.” Pagano said that is not always the case. “Some people find it is comforting to see the perpetrators get punished, but for other people it does not help at all,” she said. “It did not change what happened to the survivors.”
6. Campus and Community Resources
7. Family and Friends
There are other places on campus and in the community where students can go for help. SWC’s Crisis Counseling Team led by respected psychologist Dr. Clarence Amaral is located in the Counseling Center on the main campus. Students may ask for mental health counseling at any time without providing a reason. For immediate support and crisis counseling students may call (888) 385-4657, a 24-hour, toll-free countywide crisis line managed by the Center for Community Solutions. All services are free, confidential, and available in English and Spanish. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is another option. By calling (800) 656-HOPE, students can get confidential help finding local health facilities and resources for healing and recovery. Students can also get information about the laws in their area.
to say 'I understand, because you don't. No one can truly understand it unless that person is going through it.”
Healing may take years, Robbin said, but it is never too late to start. “If the memory comes in and it still causes you to be emotional, upset or anxious, then you know you haven’t gotten over it,” she said. Male students may also be victims and require healing. Pagano said when a male student is sexually assaulted the guilt and shame he internalizes is “much trickier.” “We don’t allow a man talk about it,” she said. “It makes them question their sexual orientation, their gender identity and everything else.” Both male and female victims have to understand that the healing process is a long journey, Pagano said. Victims may actually feel worse after talking to a counselor or therapist, at least in the short term. There will be easy days and hard days. As long as the
8. Healing “When we can take all
the negative emotion we experienced and give it life in a new way, we are taking the negative and interweaving it into a beautiful part of your life.” Shannon Pagano Psychology Instructor
It is also important for a victim to find someone they can trust to talk to, including family and friends. Smith said the best thing a friend or family member can do is “be there for them.” “No need to say ‘I understand,’” he said, “because you don’t. No o n e c a n t r u l y understand it unless that person is going though it.” If students on campus see something, they should say something. Alpha Pi Epsilon C h a p t e r Pre s i d e n t Lorise Diamond said that there are people who watch students get sexually assaulted, but do nothing about it. “If a student sees
victim does not give up, she said, healing will come. Some victims feel they cannot heal until the perpetrators are punished, Pagano said. By putting that condition on healing, the victim is still “giving (the perpetrator) the power.” “Just because the predator doesn’t go to jail, does not mean the survivor will be a mess,” she said. Pagano said the more confortable the victim is talking about the assault, the further the victim is into the healing process. When the victim can turn the bad memory into good energy, it can be considered as reaching the “intervention” stage, the last stage in the psychology of recovering from a trauma. “When we can take all the negative emotion we experienced and give it life in a new way,” Pagano said, “we are taking the negative and interweaving it into a beautiful part of your life. We need the dark to show the light, we need the bad to learn the good.”
Mike Smith Women's Health Instructor
something that doesn’t look right, they should intervene on behalf of whoever is being assaulted,” she said. Diamond said students can go to www.itsonus.org and take the “It’s On Us” pledge that they will not be bystanders. “It’s On Us” is a national campaign started by President Obama in 2014. The pledge helps students to identify situations in which sexual assaults may occur and to intervene where consent has or cannot be given. Vice President Joe Biden and rock star Lady Gaga are among the high-profile faces of “It’s On Us.”
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Mirella Lopez, editor Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Bianca Quilantan
'A Sick Cultural Norm' Former Vice President Biden and Lady Gaga join to battle collegiate sexual assault By Alberto Calderon Senior Editor
IT'S ON US — (top) Vice President Joe Biden called college sexual assault "an epidemic" that young men and women need to fight. (above) Lady Gaga performed her stunning song "Til it Happens to You" for a packed audience at UNLV. The Obama administration launched the It's On Us campaign to battle collegiate sexual assault.
LAS VEGAS—In the fall of 2016, 11.5 million women were expected to attend colleges and universities across America. About 2.8 million of them will be sexually assaulted. At a boisterous rally at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, former Vice President Joe Biden called campus sexual assault “a sick cultural norm.” Biden was joined by rock superstar Lady Gaga as part of the Obama Administration’s “It’s On Us” campaign. Biden has been an outspoken advocate of the initiative that urges people to support sexual assault victims and intervene when consent is questionable. In a passionate address Biden called sexual assault “an epidemic in need of our immediate attention.” “It’s a terrible thing,” he said, “that when parents drop their children off at college they have to worry about whether their sons or daughters are going to be sexually assaulted. It shouldn’t even be a thought in their minds. Not in America, not anywhere. It takes all of us to speak up and speak out to change the culture.” Biden thanked Lady Gaga for joining the crusade. “Imagine the courage it takes for her to speak out and then imagine the courage it takes for her to sing a song that is branded in her heart,” he said. The Grammy-winning artist performed “Til it Happens to You,” based on her own sexual assault when she was 19-year-old New York college student Stefani Germanotta. After her stirring performance in the darkened arena, illuminated by hundreds of cellphones attempting to capture the moment, Lady Gaga said it was her greatest honor to support and bring awareness to the cause. “‘What I’ve learned is that the most powerful form of feeling is compassion,” she said. “If you can simply be a friend to someone and truly listen, even if it’s hard or you don’t understand. You will be filling that sense of loneliness that has stayed with me ever since the day I was abused.” Earlier in 2016 Biden introduced Lady Gaga at the Academy Awards, where she performed alongside 50 sexual assault survivors. More than 65 million people tuned in worldwide. Even some of her family were unaware of her sexual assault until the Oscar performance, she said. “I was too ashamed. Too afraid. And it took me a long time to even admit it to myself because I’m Catholic and I knew it was evil but I thought it was my fault. I thought it was my fault for ten years,” she wrote in an Instagram post the day after the Oscars.
Lady Gaga’s reaction to her sexual assault is not unusual. Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Less than 5 percent of rapes are reported directly to the authorities and when a victim does speak up, it is often with a close friend. Biden said that is why it so important for college students to be vigilant. “You women who remain silent, you are culpable as well for not intervening to get help, for not doing everything in your power to get your friend assistance,” Biden said. “And you young men, if you see a woman under the influence being taken advantage of, you need to step in and say ‘Not today pal.’” Biden, who served as a public defender before he was elected to the Senate, has been outspoken on the issue since he signed the Violence Against Women Act in 1992. His deceased son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, also worked with the U.S. Attorney General on sexual assault laws. Before Biden appeared, different factions of the UNLV community took the stage to spell out steps the university is taking to combat the oft-neglected issue. They included the football coach, a Greek life president, an operator from the woman’s help hotline and a transgender representative. Biden told college administrators and campus police to step up their involvement. “We don’t need you guys (administrators) to be heroes,” he said. “We just need you to do your job, report what you see.” The Obama Administration issued a statement in 2014 warning colleges and universities that failure to report and address sexual assault will be met with harsh sanctions, including loss of federal funding. More than 170 colleges across the country are under investigation for not adequately enforcing federal laws to ensure a safe collegiate environment. UNLV sophomore Priscilla Rodriguez said the rally was very moving. “Joe Biden was very intense and Lady Gaga’s song was amazing,” she said. “I really thought it was very informative. It made me think about what I could do to make a difference.” At the end of Biden’s 40-minute speech he asked those in attendance to raise their hands and take a pledge to be more involved in eradicating sexual assault. More than 325,000 college students across America have made the pledge to date. Biden continued to visit more college campuses throughout the year. He said his work with sexual assault awareness will be done when nobody ever blames a victim again. “There will always be violence,” he said. “But we will have success when not a single, solitary woman who is abused asks herself ‘What did I do?’ It is never, never, never, never a woman’s fault.”
The Southwestern College Sun
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Assaulted students say police are no shows Assault victims report they were stood up by campus police escorts
2011-2013 - REPORTED TO SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE
By Lina Chankar Senior Staff Writer
the spring attack, she said. She was pinned against her car in the dark, she said, with College officials are not keeping their no SWC campus police or parking safety promises to provide campus police escorts attendants in sight. She said she felt “scared, to students who request them and do little helpless, disgusted, weak.” to punish students who verbally, physically It happened fast and was a blur, she said. or sexually harass female students, according “I just remember wanting to get him off to Southwestern College crime victims and me,” she said. “I wanted him to leave me faculty safety advocates. Campus crime alone. I was just trying to think of ways to reports, including a federal report required get him to stop and leave me alone.” for financial aid, have discrepancies and Doe #1 said she survived the second attack omissions, according to an investigation by because she was eventually able to mace the the Southwestern College Sun. assailant and kick him in the groin. At least three female students have reported Doe #1 reported the sexual battery to serious levels of harassment on campus campus police personnel at the department’s – including two violent sexual assaults front desk. She said she never received a – and each reported that campus police return call from the campus police and no subsequently failed to provide promised follow up was done. escorts. Advocates for women students “I was never contacted to come in or and LGBT students expressed concern anything,” she said. “I was just discouraged that assaults and possible hate crimes were about the whole process. I was really not included in the current Clery Report, discouraged about how the police handled also known as Annual Security Report, a the first one, and the fact that they never got compilation of campus crimes required by back to me. I didn’t know anything about federal law of all colleges and universities the second guy, so I thought it was done and who receive federal financial aid. It is named over with. And I know they’re not going to for Jeanne Clery, a coed who was raped do anything about it because they didn’t do and murdered on her campus at Lehigh anything about it the first time.” University in 1986. President George H. Doe #1 said women are not safe at SWC W. Bush signed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure and their concerns are not taken seriously by of Campus Policy and Campus Statistics SWC’s all-male campus police department. Act in 1990 after the measure received “I really hope they change the process,” overwhelming bipartisan she said, “with all of the stuff support in the Senate and (related to sexual assaults) House of Representatives. going on at San Diego “She was Female crime victims asked State.” pinned against that their names not be used Doe #1 still attends SWC, because in at least two cases but has male students she her car in the the alleged attackers are still trusts walk her to her car attending Southwestern dark, she said, and around campus after College. The third and fourth dark. At least two other with no SWC attackers have not been victims, however, decided identified and it is not known campus police not to stay at Southwestern if they are still students here. because they said they did or parking Jane Doe #1 reported that not feel safe on campus. she was sexually assaulted in Jane Doe #2 was verbally attendents in campus Parking Lot O during harassed and stalked by the spring 2014 semester. She a male student who was sight." said a very persistent male unhappy that he was not student followed her to the mentioned in an article she lot and pressured her to go had written for the campus on a date with him. newspaper. He wrote numerous angry and “I thought I’d ask you out,” Doe #1 quoted profane text messages to the petite woman, the male student as saying to her. When Doe and did not stop until a professor intervened #1 told the man she did not wish to go on a and campus police called the assailant on date with him, she said he grabbed her and his cell phone and ordered him to cease. kissed her against her will. He stopped the texts, but then began to “If you’re not going to go on a date with follow Doe #2 around campus, something me, then why don’t you kiss me right now?” that several of her friends and at least one Doe #1 reported the man said to her as she professor verified in reports to the campus struggled to free herself from his grasp. police and Dean of Student Affairs Mia Doe #1 said she finally pushed the man McClellan. off her and demanded that he leave her Despite hard copies of numerous alone. She said she ran from the parking threatening text messages and testimony by lot to the physical education area where she classmates and faculty about the stalking, encountered tennis coach Susan Reasons, Doe #2’s assailant was not punished and was who called campus police. Doe #1 said her allowed to remain on campus. attacker followed her halfway across campus Doe #2 requested campus police escorts and was lurking nearby as she asked Reasons and received “a few for a day or two,” she said for help. As police arrived he fled and was not before the campus police stopped showing apprehended. up. Doe #2 said she was humiliated by her SWC Officer Benjamin Gess took treatment by student affairs staff and did Doe’s account of the incident and made a not feel safe on campus. Her assailant was report. Under the Clery Act the report of eventually barred from areas of campus where an attempted sexual assault should have Doe #2 had classes, but the diminutive Doe triggered a communique from the campus #2 said she could not take the stress anymore police or administration to the entire campus and quit school. Her assailant was allowed to community, but none was issued and no remain at Southwestern and even received a one was contacted. California Department campus scholarship in spring 2014. of Education Spokesperson Jane Glickman Jane Doe #3 also requested a campus said that both forcible and non-forcible sex police escort when a male student began offenses have to be included in a college’s to follow her around campus and crudely Annual Security Report required under the demanded explicit sexual favors. Campus Clery Act. police promised escorts, then repeatedly Doe #1 said she was told to contact Gess failed to show. Her classmates and two of for escorts. She said she called the campus her professors created an escort schedule for police department at least three times in the Doe #3 and escorted her themselves for the three days following the incident to request rest of the semester. that Gess escort her to her car, but the officer Doe #3 finished the semester, but dropped did not return her calls, she said. Nor did out of Southwestern during a subsequent campus police respond to her requests for semester following a severe beating at the information on the status of the case, she said. hands of a male she was trying to break Gess said he never received any messages up with. Because the assault took place from Doe #1 and was not aware that she had off campus, college officials said there was contacted the campus police department to nothing they could do to the male assailant, ask for an escort. who freely roams Southwestern College. Doe #1 was sexually assaulted a second Doe #3 said that based on the campus time during the fall 2014 semester in a south police department’s previous failures to campus parking lot. This assault was even escort and protect her, she did not feel safe more prolonged, violent and personal than at Southwestern College and dropped out.
2011-2013 - REPORTED TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
MIXED MESSAGES — Southwestern College crime reports have substancial inconsistencies, such as these 2011-13 reports. Some serious campus crimes were not reported.
Governing Board Member Norma Hernandez asked SWC Police Chief Michael Cash about the case of Doe #3 in open session at the Oct. 8 board meeting. Cash called the missed escorts “a miscommunication” and gave a long answer that left the impression that Doe #3 was at fault. Even so, campus officials continue to make public statements that they will provide escort services for students. Cash told the entire faculty and classified staff on opening day in August that the campus police are “happy to provide escorts” and that “our campus is a safe campus.” Last year President Dr. Melinda Nish told a group of College Estates residents and Chula Vista city officials gathered to discuss citizen complaints about student parking in residential neighborhoods that part of the $40-per-semester parking fee is to fund police escorts. “The revenue from the parking permits is all used to maintain the parking lots and to maintain enforcement and escorts to the parking lots,” she told the gathering. Gay students have also complained that too little was done about a possible hate crime in the spring 2013 semester when a vandal defaced a poster inviting students to a Gay-Straight Alliance Club meeting. “NO FAGS” was written boldly across the poster, which was taken down by club members and reported to campus authorities. This incident, however, was not mentioned in the 2013 Southwestern College Annual Security Report (ASR). Campus Police Sgt. Robert Sanchez said the vandalism was investigated, but there was not enough evidence to move forward. “There was no suspect information, there was no video, no photos and nobody that actually witnessed it when it took place, so there wasn’t much else we can do at that point,” he said. Cash said he did not know why it was not included on the report as a hate crime under the sexual orientation section of the Clery Act. Seconds later he said it was not in the report because it was not required to report hate crimes in 2012 or 2013. Seconds after that he said it was not in the report because 2013 crimes were not included in the ASR reporting yet. California Department of Education Spokesperson Jane Glickman said hate crimes should always be reported by public colleges in its ASR reports. “The Clery Act has always included hate crimes, but new categories were added to the list of hate crimes in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed on August 14, 2008,” said Glickman. “In addition, the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 added gender identity and national origin as two new categories of bias for a determination of a hate crime.” Cash had a different interpretation. “That’s brand new this year of Clery,” he said. “That wasn’t part of the Clery (ASR reporting) last year. That’s a new guideline that Clery did this year. Remember, we’re not going on a year-to-year cycle. We’re going
October-to-October cycle.” Cash said that since the report is due by Oct. 1 of each year, “I might lag a little bit of a gap because I gotta get my report in.” An Oct. 1 deadline makes it difficult to include crimes that happen in September, he said, because he needs to show the draft of the Clery Report to his supervisors well before the deadline. “I’m counting crimes from Oct. 1st, 2013 to Oct. 1st, 2014, so I’m trying to capture stuff that’s in there,” he said. “I’m submitting that. And so when I turn in my 2014 (report), it’s really the 2013 year with some of the 2014 numbers.” Glickman said the reports are for crimes that happened between January and December of each year, not an Octoberto-October cycle. She said the reports are due to the Department of Education by October 1, giving colleges nine months to complete them. Cash said the hate crime against the GSA club will be on the 2014 column of the ASR crime report, even though the Clery Act requires 2013 crimes to be on the 2013 ASR crime report. There are no hate crimes listed for 2013 in SWC’s most recent report. Crime reports for Southwestern College have other discrepancies. In the 2010-12 ASR, three vehicles were reported stolen in 2011. In the 2011-13 ASR, there were a reported eight vehicles stolen in 2011. In the 2010-12 ASR there were 10 liquor violations reported. The 2011-13 ASR reported nine liquor violations. Cash said he submits identical ASRs to the Department of Education and to the campus community. He said he does not know why there are discrepancies in both reports. “I haven’t seen it,” said Cash, “so I don’t know. As far as I know, we don’t have any discrepancies.” Annual Security Reports are required to calculate and report campus statistics for murder, forcible or non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, manslaughter and arson. Reports are also supposed to enumerate certain disciplinary actions, hate crimes and arrests. Under the Clery Act, campus officials are required to warn the campus community in a timely way about violent acts that may endanger others. Sexual offense, according to the law, is supposed to trigger a campus-wide notification of an assault that was reported and that a possible sex crime perpetrator may be at large. Campus officials are not required by law to report any other crimes to campus community that are not mandated by the Clery Act, however, college officials are free to warn the campus population of any other crimes they believe students and the community need to be aware of, including off-campus crimes that could impact students or employees. California public colleges and universities are required to make the Clery Report and campus crime reports available to the campus community and the public. The 1990 Clery
Act states, “The law requires schools make the report available to all current students and employees, and prospective students and employees must be notified of its existence and given a copy upon request.” On Aug. 28 SWC’s Office of Admissions sent an email to students and faculty informing them of the existence of the college’s 2013 Annual Security Report, as the Clery Act requires. Southwestern College ASRs can be found at the California Department of Education website. Sanchez said reports are also available at the campus police office, McClellan’s office, the student center, and admission and records. SWC crime reports cover the main campus in Chula Vista as well as satellite centers in National City, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro. Reports have failed, however, to include the Coronado-based Silver Strand Aquatic Center. Cash said that it was included with National City crimes. Governing Board member Nora Vargas said officials should look at concerns about
“There was no suspect information, no video, no photos and no witnesses, when it took place, so there wasn't much else we can do at that point." Robert Sanchez SWC Police Sergeant campus safety measures as a component of student success, a core goal of both SWC and the California Community College system. “Education is much more holistic than just getting good grades and university transfers,” Vargas said. “You have to feel safe. You have to feel comfortable in the environment. So I want to make sure that we start incorporating all of this and it becomes part of (the) water as we’re having these discussions.” Editor’s Note: It is the policy of The Southwestern College Sun to require named attributions by all sources with rare exceptions that include sexual assault victims, victims of dangerous crimes and situations where personal safety may legitimately be at risk. Due to the sensitive nature of the crimes reported by the women in this story, the Editorial Board of The Sun agreed not to use the victims’ names. All scenarios described in this article, however, were independently verified by at least five campus sources with direct knowledge of the events, including law enforcement or college documents. Appropriate campus police and college officials were given ample opportunity to respond. This article is reprinted from Winter 2014-2015.
VICTIMS ARE MORE THAN JUST NUMBERS
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
The Southwestern College Sun
VIEWPOINTS Editorials, Opinions and Letters to the Editor
The mission of the Southwestern College Sun is to serve its campuses and their communities by providing information, insights and stimulating discussions of news, activities and topics relevant to our readers. The staff strives to produce a newspaper that is timely, accurate, fair, interesting, visual and accessible to readers. Though the “Sun” is a student publication, staff members ascribe to the ethical and moral guidelines of professional journalists. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
For honest sex consent is never implied
Jaime Pronoble NEWS
Brelio Lozano, editor Alejandro Muñoz Anguiano, assistant CAMPUS
Victoria Gonzalez, editor Veronica Cruz, assistant Carolina Rubio Ruiz, assistant VIEWPOINTS
Alyssa Pajarillo, editor Katy Stegall, editor Matthew Reilly, head cartoonist ARTS
Marty Loftin, editor Chelsea Pelayo, assistant Jeanette Sandoval, assistant SPORTS
Michael McDonald, editor
Mirella Lopez, editor
Natalie Mosqueda, editor Thomas Contant, assistant SENIOR STAFF
Nicholas Baltz Andrew Dyer COPY EDITOR
Brian del Carmen STAFF WRITERS
Victoria Sanchez ADVISOR
Dr. Max Branscomb
AWARDS/HONORS Student Press Law Center National College Press Freedom Award, 2011 National Newspaper Association National College Newspaper of the Year, 2004-16 Associated Collegiate Press National College Newspaper of the Year National Newspaper Pacemaker Award, 2003-06, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012-2015 General Excellence Awards, 2001-16 Best of Show Awards, 2003-17 Columbia University Scholastic Press Association Gold Medal for Journalism Excellence, 2001-16 California Newspaper Publishers Assoc. California College Newspaper of the Year, 2013, 2015 Student Newspaper General Excellence, 2002-17 San Diego County Multicultural Heritage Award
Society of Professional Journalists National Mark of Excellence, 2001-16 First Amendment Award, 2002, 2005 San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards 19992016 Directors Award for Defense of Free Speech, 2012 Journalism Association of Community Colleges Pacesetter Award 2001-17 General Excellence Awards, 2000-16 American Scholastic Press Association Community College Newspaper of the Year San Diego County Fair Media Competition Best of Show
Our Position: Rather than sweeping sex crimes under the rug, campus leadership needs to keep students safe.
The Issue: Southwestern College has a serious problem with sexual assaults and harassment.
Administration, campus police need to get serious about sexual assault For all the attention college sexual assault receives as a major issue at schools across the country, advocates still face an uphill battle against administrators, law enforcement, and antiquated societal and gender norms. Time and again we see women who report rape or assault scrutinized like they are somehow the offender. Knee-jerk reactions to write off sex crimes as he said/ she said enables the continuation of a rape culture that should not be a tolerated part of the college experience. The facts are – and yes, these are facts – that only 35 percent of assaults are reported, and of those, only 7 percent are found to be false. He said/ she said suggests a 50/50 likelihood the victim is telling the truth, a perception not supported by the evidence. Sexual assault is no longer a taboo to which we turn a blind eye and pretend is not happening. This conversation has not been given the opportunity to happen. It's on administrators to empower victims and potential victims by being honest about the danger. One in four women will be sexually assaulted while attending college. More than 90 percent will not report it. Administrators cannot let campus law enforcement write off these sex crimes as “student misconduct,” a tactic that obscures the danger to women on campus, and for what? So campus crime stats will appear artificially low in the name of making college presidents more appealing to the next rung on their career ladder? So incompetent police departments can thump their chests and point at blue poles to pretend they are actually doing something about the crisis? The fact that a man can make unwanted physical and sexually suggestive contact with a woman at Southwestern College and not be arrested is appalling. It's on the police to have compassion while abiding by the law and doing everything they can to protect students. Law enforcement officers, of all people, should be sensitive to the trauma victims have experienced. SWC Police should never again shift blame onto a victim based their sexist judgment of the way a victim is dressed. Police routinely describe offenders as “predators”– they are not. More than 80 percent of victims know their assailants – 8 out of 10! Yet the myth of the masked stranger in the shadows persists, even among law enforcement officials who should know better. At the very least, our police officers should be able to discuss the issue using the correct vernacular and legal terminology. Recently,
Online Comments Policy
during an interview with a Sun reporter, a SWC police officer repeatedly used the phrase “sexual harassment” when discussing the nuances of sexual battery versus sexual assault. Sexual harassment is something that happens in the workplace, between colleagues. Sexual assault and battery are the crimes for which women at college are most at risk. These terms are not interchangeable. Each represents specific, legally-defined parameters. If our police are too lazy to even discuss the issue with any level of seriousness, why should we believe they are treating the issue with any level of seriousness? At least get the terminology right. (Upon follow-up, the officer corrected himself.) It's on students to protect each other and to treat victims who come forward with compassion and respect. It's on parents to raise their children to be empowered and respectful of others. The conversation about sex and, most importantly, consent, needs to happen early and often. Here is another fact – 91 percent of sexual assault victims are women and 99 percent of perpetrators are men. That being said, It's on men to learn how to respect women. Women should not have to use the excuse that they have a significant other in order to stop advances from men, but it is an effective tactic because many men respect other men before women. Men should not feel defensive when confronted with the facts on sexual assault, but must be open-minded and compassionate with respect to the day-to-day experience of women on campus. Acknowledge that consent to sex is enthusiastic and ongoing, and that it can be rescinded any time their partner chooses. Finally, It's on legislators to actually take the time to put down their partisan fights and come together to protect women on college campuses. It is within their power to protect their constituents and to create laws that foster safe environments for students. We need legislation and we need it now. Rapists should not be allowed to remain on campus with their victims. We need to change the profile of who the rapist is. It is rarely a masked boogieman. Most often it is a friend, a classmate or a date. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault and we, as a college, community and society, must do everything we can to empower victims. But they do not want your sympathy. They want your anger. They need your action. Solving the sexual assault crisis is on us. It's on all of us.
Letters Policy Send mailed letters to: Editor, Southwestern College Sun, 900
The Sun reserves the right to republish web comments
Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Send e-mailed letters to
in the newspaper and will not consider publishing
email@example.com. E-mailed letters must include a phone
anonymously posted web comments or comments that
number. The Sun reserves the right to edit letters for libel and length and
are inflammatory or libelous. Post web comments at
will not consider publishing letters that arrive unsigned.
Opinions expressed in the Viewpoints section are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Sun Staff, the Editorial Board or Southwestern College.
Consent is key to sex, but some people are still trying to pick the lock. Most students had a sex education class in middle or high school. While these programs teach anatomy and how bodies mature, most programs do not teach about consent. Consent is a fundamental part of sex. It is the affirmative, avid and active agreement between people who wish to engage in sexual activity. While this concept may seem obvious, consent is still a concept that society is wrestling with. Consent is not implied. There are no blurred lines. Let’s be clear: Consent is not given if the person is under the influence. If a man or a woman cannot even drive home, they are not able to give consent because their judgment is impaired. Consent is not necessarily given even if a person does not object. Not objecting does not mean they agree. Consent requires expressed verbal agreement Consent cannot be given if the person is unconscious. Prior consent does not apply if the person has passed out or is sleeping. Consent is not given if the person is giving into pestering or bullying. Succumbing to peer pressure is not consent and can lead to prosecution of the perpetrator. Consent is not given if the person gives a reluctant answer. “I guess…” or weak “…okay,” responses show that a person may be reluctant to agree to sexual activity. If a person hesitates, they may not be all that willing. Consent should be given with an affirmative and avid “yes.” There are some things to keep in mind while engaging in sexual activity to ensure that your partner is comfortable and still giving consent. Pay attention to body language. If a partner seems to tense up, shy away from touch, or fall silent second thoughts may have crept in. Keep in mind that participants should be appear to be enthusiastic about the activities. It is wise to get verbal reassurance from your partner. A simple, “is this okay?” or “would it be okay if…?” should suffice. Be sure to get verbal feedback. It is okay to stop if either party express discomfort. Have a discussion after wards. Take a few minutes after the activity to discuss what was and what was not enjoyed. It is important to be attentive to a partner’s likes and dislikes. A p e r s o n m a y g i ve c o n s e n t a t the start of sexual activity, but can re vo k e i f t h e s i t u a t i o n b e c o m e s uncomfor table. It is impor tant that people express their discomfort or when they are unwillingness to continue. While it may be frustrating, it is important to be an understanding partner and not badger or make someone feel guilty for revoking consent. A study funded by the Center for Disease Control concluded that 10 percent of high school and collegeaged people have coerced another person into sexual activity. The study also finds that the age of 16 seems to be when teens are most likely to coerce others into doing things against their will. Teaching consent at an early age and reinforcing it through higher levels of education is the key to preventing sexual assault and empowering individuals to speak up against pressure.
Alyssa may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alyssa Pajarillo and Katy Stegall, co-editor A6
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: email@example.com
Assault laws keep rapists out of jail and victims silent By Katy Stegall Viewpoints Editor
Rape culture will not change until the laws protecting victims are actually upheld. Title IX and The Clery Act are laws meant to protect against gender discrimination and sexual misconduct. Rape and sexual assault, unfortunately, are still commonplace and underreported. Former Vice President Joe Biden called it a “sick cultural norm.” He was right. Justice cannot exist when victims are silenced, doubted and shamed by society and the authorities. Justice is not blind. Money and class matter. Brock Turner was a Stanford University student-athlete from an affluent family who was convicted of assault with intent to rape an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Even after being convicted of three felonies, he was still referred to as the “Stanford Swimmer” and not the “Stanford Rapist.” Turner’s mug shot was plastered on social media, t-shirts and the news as America debated whether he was a young man who made a mistake or a soulless rapist. Dan Turner, his father, said his son’s life should not be altered forever because of 20 minutes of action. Turner’s judge, Stanford-alum Aaron Persky, agreed. Persky delivered a slap on the wrist and Turner somehow avoided a rape conviction. Thanks to Persky’s willingness to look the other way, Turner is not a convicted rapist or a registered sexual offender. Persky said there was no provable penile penetration (despite witness testimony) and that the victim was not raped because Turner only inserted his fingers in the victim’s vagina. National outrage followed the trial. Turner was sentenced to six months in jail, but only served three. Citizens demanded action. Assembly Bill 2888, introduced by two California legislators after Turner’s conviction, mandated prison sentences for all convicted rapists. It also redefined rape. Prior to AB2888 a sexual assault could not be considered rape without penile penetration. With judicial discretion —the power a judge has to act on their personal judgment— Turner might have received a prison sentence. Weak laws prior to AB 2888 allowed a trusty sidekick judge like Persky to go easy on criminals they favor, especially fellow Stanford alumni. Persky, thank goodness, is no longer presiding over criminal cases. Turner’s father whined that a mere 20 minutes of monstrous behavior should not damage his son’s life. His callous comment took no consideration of the victim, who will have to carry the trauma of being raped for the rest of her life. Soldiers are not the only people who suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Legions of sexual assault victims in America suffer constant anxiety, physical manifestations of fear and inability to trust. Our judicial system goes easy on people accused of sexual assault and is hard on its victims if the predator is white. This goes beyond lazy judges such as Persky. Defense attorneys often act as the wolf in a wool suit. Attorneys defending those accused of rape too often smear the victim on the witness stand by implying the victim “asked for it” or instigated the attack by what clothing was worn. Shouse Law, a West Coast criminal defense law group, tells potential
clients how to get out of a sexual assault charge on its website. “Rape, like all other California sex crimes, is a charge that is often initiated out of jealousy, revenge, anger or another emotionally-driven motives,” the website reads. Shouse Law advertising boasts of the firm’s ability to reduce charges and prove the accuser is committing fraud. Other forms of legal evasion and tips on discrediting witnesses can be found on misogynistic websites like avoiceformen.com. “A girl accused another man of rape for throwing a flower at her,” the website reads. “Innumerable women tell rape lies for attention or sympathy. Some women are just plain nuts.” TV legend Bill Cosby has been accused by more than 50 women of sexual misconduct, often after drugging them. Due to the statute of limitations, he is only being charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is yet another example of the system working in the favor of affluent rapists. State Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) said she introduced SB 813, the Justice for Victims Act, so rape victims can have the opportunity to seek justice in court. SB 813 removes the 10year statute of limitations, assuring victims will always have a chance to press charges despite time passed. The Bill Cosbys of America will no longer be able to skid through the statute of limitations loophole. Cosby’s downfall was devastating for those who saw him as a cultural icon, but at least he is not occupying the White House. On Nov. 8, 2016, America elected a sexual predator as its president. Donald Trump’s vomit-inducing words of “grab ‘em by the pussy” were shocking to everyone initially but then right-leaning voters and his own wife shrugged off his comments as “locker-room talk.” He bragged about barging into the dressing rooms of teenage beauty pageants to ogle nude or partially dressed children. Americans who respect women were horrified and demanded he step down as the GOP nominee. Yet on election night 62 million voters said sexual assault is okay in America. Light punishments and light news media coverage give sexual predators the comfort that their crimes will likely be ignored. Rapists believe that they can get away with it if their fame, good reputation or pocketbook outweighs the victims’. Police are partially to blame. Law enforcement personnel blame the victim when they ask, “What were you wearing?” and “What did you do to provoke him?” Those questions portray a mindset that the woman is a horny hussy “who was asking for it.” Southwestern
College’s all-male police department is guilty of this rape culture sin. Changing American rape culture will require destruction of the blame-the-victim mindset and the glorification as sex-as-conquest in our entertainment media. It took centuries for many Americans to realize that AfricanAmericans were fully human, that Native Americans were not bloodthirsty savages and that women were not hysterical, menstrual-addled shrills. How much longer will it take for our society to realize that rape is an act of violence and that rapists are criminals?
Letter to the Editor: Emotional abuse is way too common in relationships, can lead to violence Re: April 11, 2016 editorial
I have been the Acting Chief for little more than two months and I take pride in the work performed by the men and women of the police department. Most of their daily good work goes unreported and unnoticed. I am pleased to acknowledge there has been no violent crime incident on campus during these two months. Much of the credit for this goes to department members who made timely interventions and, in some cases, arrests and detentions to prevent matters from escalating. I also want to acknowledge the timely intervention of Student Services, whose collaboration with us is often essential. Regarding evaluating the sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations that have been forwarded, I would caution against speculation and judgment at this point. While these allegations are very troubling, investigations are ongoing and I am confident the facts and evidence will be uncovered and necessary action taken. I fully agree with The Sun’s advocacy for communityoriented policing efforts. We have all witnessed controversial law enforcement incidents across this nation that led to community outrage. The core causational problem rests on a breach between law enforcement and many in the community that it serves. That breach typically takes years to develop, and closing it will take proactive, ongoing efforts and time. I walk about the campus frequently, respond to calls for service, and interact with various groups. I see the hesitancy in the eyes of many who view me and my uniform with suspicion. There is a gap between many in the Southwestern campus community and its police, and I commend The Sun for reporting on it. I would like to paraphrase a quote of President Murillo during one of our recent management meetings where she stated that we (the
college) cannot reach our goals if we are not honest with ourselves. The Southwestern College Police Department is here to provide a public safety service to this institution, its faculty and staff, and its students. To succeed, the department needs a strong and lasting partnership with its constituents based on trust, understanding and communication. Achieving it will take work and commitment, but it is within our grasp. Campus police officers partnered with the ASO to host a “Get to Know Your Police” event. It was well attended and demonstrates how we can improve our relationships with students, faculty and staff. This is a great example of outreach where communication between the police and its constituents occurred. There are many other proven strategies to help us build strong and lasting partnerships and I look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to explore some of these strategies. As part of this effort, I encourage all of you to talk to our department members. Say hello or ask a question of the officers. Get to know them. You will find they are good men and women who have a high degree of dedication for their work and a commitment to the college. They are presented with difficult situations at times. However, they are people just like you, and I am confident once you get to know them better, you will find they perform their duties with compassion, consideration, and discretion. For my part, I will continue to build on a culture in our department in which all members conduct themselves in a friendly, open, and transparent manner. Let’s reach out to on another and bridge the gap where it exists so the Southwestern Police Department can fulfill its primary role of providing public safety services to the college. Dave Nighswonger Acting Police Chief
By Alyssa Pajarillo A Perspective
Emotional abuse is way too common, it is very serious. Abuse can come in many forms. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse can all be devastating. Emotional abuse, however, is rarely spoken about. Emotional abuse is often difficult to detect because it does not leave behind physical bruises or scars the victims might not even know they are being abused. Emotional abuse can happen in any relationship and anyone can be the perpetrator. Both men and women are capable of giving and receiving. It does not necessarily come from significant others. Parents, siblings, coworkers and friends can be emotional abusers. It is very likely that most people have used emotionally abusive tactics in the heat of an argument and not realized it. Because it is so common, it is important to be able to identify what is emotionally abusive and when it is happening before toxic tactics turn into a toxic relationship. Abuse techniques can impair their victim’s sense of worthiness, trust and confidence. They make victims question themselves and most are manipulate through tactics such as fear or shame. Like racist code words, the language of emotional abuse is subtle but devastating. Examples are damaging phrases like “You should feel lucky I love you, because no one else can,” or “Why waste so much time on your appearance? It never helps.” Put downs are the most common and hurtful medium of emotional abuse. They might seem like a small easy thing to deflect, but if the abuser says the same thing repeatedly the victim will take it to be true. Put downs target ones selfesteem, making them feel as if they have no other choice other than being with their abuser. “Gaslighting” is another common example of manipulation, though very few people know about it. The term gaslighting comes from a 1938 stage play by the name of “Gas Light,” the story of a manipulative husband trying to get rid of his wife by slowly making her feel as if she is going insane. Gaslighting is making someone question their own reality or making them feel unstable. Gaslighters pump so much doubt into their victims’ mind that victims feel they can no longer trust their and judgment and give into their manipulator’s accusations. By giving in, the victims give up their power and hand control to their abuser. Men emotionally abuse women by creating the fear of physical harm, threatening to leave her or keeping her from the things or people she loves. Abusive women manipulate by using shame. They shame by controlling their partner’s fear of being a failure in their role as a lover or provider. People who suspect they may be emotionally
abused should reflect on themselves and ask if they are constantly second guessing themselves, are confused, are asking if they are too sensitive, are withholding information from their friends or family or making excuses for their partners. If the answer is yes, some reevaluating may be in order. There is a fine line between being in a relationship with someone who occasionally uses these techniques in the heat of an argument and someone who is a master manipulator. If toxic habits have crept into your relationship the best thing to do is to stand up and call out the toxic habit. Best advice – trust your emotions.
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Southwestern students share their per FROM THE EDITORIAL BOARD For more than a century journalism ethics guided reporters to minimize harm by not using the names of sexual assault victims in stories. Following a remarkable piece of investigative journalism by Lina Chankar that is republished in this issue, we learned what sexual assault victims have known for centuries — many people will not believe them. Many Southwestern College administrators and campus police leaders openly scoffed at Chankar's article because she did not name the victims. The Sun stands behind that article, but has gone a step further. The following are the personal experiences of staff members with sexual assault and harassment, each one signed. Some of these accounts are graphic and disturbing, all are courageous and impossible to ignore.
By Jeanette Sandoval A testimony
“Just breathe,” I told myself, as I looked down at the creases in my chef coat. How did I get so dirty? I was still in my 90day trial of my job as the assistant pastry chef. Mother’s Day was three days away, and I had 30 cakes to cut and fill. “Hey Jeanette, what cake are you on?” Mariana, head pastry chef, yelled from the office. It was about 7:45 p.m. and service was still at full force. The only thing I could think of were these cakes. “Leave me alone!” I would moan as the tickets kept rolling in. Service ended. The dishwashers and I were the only ones still working. “Hey,” the dishwasher mumbled as he walked by, eyeing me closely. “Do you live near here?” He stood in front of me blocking my access to the cart. Although he was not much taller than me, he was a stalky dark man, whose face always looked like it was smelling rotten eggs. “Uh, no,” I mumbled politely. “I live near Chula Vista.” “Oh really? So do I,” he responded. My patience was wearing thin. All I managed to spit out was, “That’s nice.” “I’m gonna take you out for breakfast!” he proclaimed. “Do you like breakfast?” “Well, I am human, so yes, I like breakfast,” I replied. “Good then, I’ll take you to Jack In
The Box one of these days and buy you breakfast,” he stated, then walked away as abruptly as he came, not waiting for a response. “What in the world just happened?” I thought to myself. “Was this some sort of ritual they had here? Do they all go out to breakfast at Jack in the Box together or am I the only one classy enough to receive the invite?” I only had a moment, so I decided to shake it off and continue working. The clock was still ticking. He returned. “Do you know how to swim?” he asked. “Yes, I really like swimming,” I answered honestly, trying to think back to the last time I had actually gone for a swim. “Good,” he decided. “Then I’ll take you swimming to Rosarito. Just the two of us and don’t worry, I’m a strong swimmer, so I can help you.” All I could think to myself at this moment was, what in the world is going on? Does he mean like a kitchen field trip? He must mean all of us? More like he better mean all of us, he’s old enough to be my father! Wait, isn’t he married also? What in the world makes this man think this is ok right now? But, at this moment, this crucial moment, how do I respond? I don’t really know how to. I am still on trial and I don’t know how important this man is, or if I would get in trouble for telling him off. I also did not want to be perceived as mean.
“My dad won’t let me,” was the quickest thing I could think of and apparently the most efficient because he did not insist on it. It was a decision I quickly regretted. The truth was I was grossed out by the whole situation. The fact that this man had decided he was going to take me somewhere and only stopped because another male figure had gotten in his way did not sit well with me. I told Mariana the next day what had happened and she told me she would take care of it. She also told me that I had to be very firm and assertive with these men or else they would walk all over me. After she told me that, I knew I had gone all wrong with my answer and had not properly stood up for myself. I often find myself trying to distinguish the line between assertion and aggression. At what point is that line crossed, at what makes it so? What is the difference between standing up for yourself and being the bully? On either side you are oppressing your opponent’s views. As a woman am I being assertive or a bitch? Will I be viewed as a strong independent woman if I stand up for myself or will my co-workers just think I am a lesbian who needs to get laid? Then again, if I show too much emotion, I become just the silly emotional woman who is probably on her period. How much is too much? How strong is too strong? And why does this distinction change with gender? I was raised to be a strong woman, but not
too strong. I was raised with a strong male figure, who unknowingly instilled many sexist ways in me. I always had trouble with adults telling me how I should dress, act, think and speak. It was not until much later in life that I discovered what was normal or inappropriate behavior between sexes. It took time to sort out how men refer to woman and what I was raised to think I had to apologize for. The youngest of three, I grew up watching my sisters grow from girls into women who faced the same questions I ask myself today. It is funny that three sisters who grew up together come to such different conclusions from these questions. My oldest sister was raised wearing dresses, bows, never getting dirty and she loved every minute of it. My middle sister went the opposite route and was a tomboy well into her teens, before blossoming into a very girly woman. I have always identified as a combination of my parents and sisters, taking what I thought was right from each. As a child I refused to see difference between sexes and took pride being one of the strongest kids in my elementary school class, all while wearing a skirt. I guess ignorance is bliss. I had never given importance to being a feminist until I went to culinary school and met some strong women. There were only four female chef instructors in the entire culinary program and they were all amazing in the way they carried themselves. All nurturing and no bullshit, these were the
greatest woman ever! It was not until I got to my current job (where the only other female in the kitchen is Mariana, the pastry chef) that I actually felt like I needed to defend myself and my sex. I had never encountered such sexism in my life! The answers to my questions are simple, don’t give a fuck. I stopped caring what my co-workers thought of me and stopped constantly trying to defend myself from their probes and tests. I learned that the difference between being the bully and being bullied is your attitude. Just as I refuse to make others feel less than, I refuse to let others belittle me. I learned to stop apologizing for my beliefs and opinions. The difference between asserting yourself and aggression is making sure your ideas and opinions are respected, while respecting your others ideas and opinions. If you have strength, show it when it is needed, not when you feel intimidated. After the hazing phase was over my coworkers and I got to know each another and gain each other’s respect. Just today, a little battle of gender equality was won. Justin, the sous chef , made a sex joke at the expense of another co-worker, Velasquez. Velasquez’s eyes got so big I thought they were going to pop out of his head, when he shouted, “Not in front of Jeanette!” Justin responded, “Hey! She doesn’t get special treatment, she’s one of us! And if I have to deal with you, so does she.” Those are my friends.
The Southwestern College Sun
rsonal experiences with sexual assault By Bo Chen-Samuel A testimony
On a hot summer night in 2005 my sister was raped. No one saw it coming. No one ever does. In China, rapes happen every day. We were living in Harbin, a big city located in the northeast. Our apartment was on the sixth floor in a seven-floor building. There was no elevator. My sister was 21 years old and I was 18. That night she went to meet friends at a billiard bar a three-minute walk from our apartment. It was a place she had been going to since she was 15. I don’t know what time she left the bar, but when I went to bed around 10:30 p.m., she still was not home. The next morning when I woke up, her door was closed. Around 10 a.m., my mom came in. We had not seen her for a while. My mom lived in the country two hours outside of the city. In 1998 she bought a small piece of land. She wanted to build her dream house there. My sister and I lived alone since it was too far from Mom’s for us to go to school every day. She gave us some money every month. We had to take care of everything for our apartment. My sister dropped out high school in early 2000, and started smoking and playing billiards. She made friends at the billiard bar near our apartment and spent a lot of time there. We did not know my mom was coming home that day. After greeting her, my mom and I went to my sister’s room together. When we opened the door, my sister was still lying in bed, facing the wall. “Don’t you know what time is it now? Still in bed? Get up!” Mom said.
Silence. “Didn’t you hear me? Time to get up! It is almost noon time!” she said. My sister turned and faced us. “I was raped,” she said. I felt something hit my head. “You what?” Mom said. “I said I was raped!” my sister said. A thick silence swallowed the room. A scary sound I haven’t heard since. I thought I should say something, but didn’t know what. I had so many questions I knew I should not ask. Mom wanted answers. We both did. My sister said that it happened after she entered the building, while climbing the stairs, around 2 a.m. “I told you not to come home that late! Not to wear those shorts! You see?” my mom said. My sister did not say anything. She was not crying either. I realized that there was something I could do for her. I asked her if she wanted me to get the Plan B pills for her. She nodded. I ran downstairs and bought the pills immediately. Seven days later, she had her period. She smiled. After that day, we never mentioned anything about that hot summer night again. Even though my sister acted like it never happened, I see how it changed her. She started asking people to walk her home. If I was coming home late, she always told me to have someone walk me home too. On social media, she sometimes re-posts news about women who get raped in China with angry comments, but she never talks about the news in person. She got married last year and now lives in Shanghai. She said she would never live in Harbin again.
"This is how sexual assaults happen. Not just in dark alleys and deserted parking lots, but under bright lights and in the presence of friends who think they are protecting you."
By Andrew Dyer A testimony
By Andrea Aliseda A testimony
"My cross to bear is being a woman. For having breasts, ovaries and XX chromosomes, I was born into ubiquitous victimization by the opposite sex."
If we are to get to know each other, here are some things to note about me: I carry a pocketknife at all times. I do not run at night alone. Ever. I sleep with a light on. Because, unfortunately, I live in perpetual fear of the day a strange man will wrap his hands around my neck and strangle me. My paranoia did not emerge out of being a confrontational person or an instigator. Nor is it because I have people hot on my trail in search of revenge, or a bounty on my head for an act of malevolence. My cross to bear is being a woman. For having breasts, ovaries and XX chromosomes, I was born into ubiquitous victimization by the opposite sex. Here is something else to note – my fear did not cultivate out of a personal traumatic experience, but by observing the way our society’s men victimize and prey on women and children. When I moved to the U.S., Danielle Van Dam had just gone missing in San Diego and I wished with every pulsing cell in my body that she would communicate to me where she was so she could be saved. When that didn’t happen and her lifeless corpse turned up in a remote field under a
tree, my whole world changed. News media collectively spewed information about how to protect yourself from predators, and what things to put away in a pack that could possibly save your life after being snatched up in the middle of the night. The consensus was that this could happen to anyone, including me, which meant I needed to be prepared. My dad seared the fear deep into my brain by constantly warning us to stay alert for kidnappers, keep within my parents’ sight and to never remove or hide our homemade name-tag lanyards that bore our emergency contacts. Fear ceased to be a sensation that I felt riding a roller coaster or watching a scary film, it was a real, palpable condition I was all at once engulfed by. The condition of the world today has not made it any better. Cases of scorned, violated and harmed women and children open and close every day. I could be another name on that list. My life could be altered or taken forever in a millisecond. There are real hunters out there with every intention to hunt. So, until that changes, I will continue to carry a pocketknife, avoid running at night and sleep with at least one light on.
My first duty station in the Navy was the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, an aircraft carrier stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Across from the main gate of the base was a strip of raunchy bars and nightclubs, Honshu Yokosuka, that everyone knew as “The Honch.” Japan’s drinking age was 20, but that didn’t matter. Japanese bars notoriously did not care and never asked for I.D. I was 23 years old when I began my fouryear tour in 2003. Every night the ship had to send about a dozen sailors out to patrol the strip. I served on shore patrol more times than I can count, but even now, more than 10 years later, one night stands out from the rest. It was late, around midnight, when I noticed an intoxicated woman stumbling down the cobblestone street with several male companions helping her along. We were under orders to detain anyone too intoxicated and call base police to take them back to their ships. I went to confront them. Her companions plead for me not to call the police since she would face disciplinary action for public intoxication. One of them said he had a room at the nearby Hotel Yokosuka and that she would be fine with him there. I wasn’t hearing it. I immediately radioed CNFJ (Commander Naval Forces Japan – the base police) to come to my location to pick up the sailor. That was when her companion, the one with the hotel room, pulled out his wallet and showed me his badge. He was
an N.C.I.S. agent, the Navy’s criminal investigative service. Although technically a civilian, he was still an authority figure to me, an E-4 at the time. One thing instilled from day one of boot camp across the services is obedience. Obey regulations. Obey orders. And, most of all, obey your superiors. The badge and his assurances left me questioning my own authority. I most definitely had the authority to detain her, him and their entire group. However, being armed with only a radio and limited confidence in my own judgment in the face of a shiny gold badge, I balked. I stood powerless as the agent led her away towards the hotel. By the time the police arrived, they were gone. I don’t know how this story ends. My duty that evening ended as it usually did, around 4 a.m., and I never heard anything about the woman or the agent. Maybe they went back to his room and he made her tea. Maybe she slept it off, comfortable and safe. Maybe. This is how sexual assaults happen. Not just in dark alleys and deserted parking lots, but under bright lights and in the presence of friends who think they are protecting you. Statistics from the University of Michigan say that men commit almost 99 percent of single-victim sexual assaults. It is important that men acknowledge the real and present threat women face and learn to recognize and read situations in which we may find our friends or ourselves. Don’t be a bystander. Act. Intervene. And, most of all, be vigilant and trust your instincts.
The Southwestern College Sun
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
EDITOR'S NOTE The following stories are personal experiences of sexual assault and harassment written by members of The Sun staff. Some stories are graphic and may be disturbing to readers. Please read at your own discretion.
By Alyssa Pajarillo A testimony
I was 13. He wasn’t some stranger in a dark alley. He was my boyfriend of three months. It was early December. I had gone to meet him at the park one evening after school to hang out and walk around the neighborhood like we always had done. We walked down into a neighborhood trail, we talked and he smoked his cigarettes. It was dark now, but it was okay, I lived in a nice neighborhood. I was with my boyfriend who would protect me. I was safe. We came to a street where the hedge bushes were high and thick. There was a clearing for an electrical transformer. He took me behind it. He kissed down my neck. It wasn’t anything new. We had made out before. Then he turned me around and pushed me against the transformer. This wasn’t right. I asked what he was doing. He assured me it would be okay, that no one could see us. He unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down to my knees. This was wrong, I told him we shouldn’t be doing this, it was a bad idea. “It’s okay, it’ll be quick,” I remember him saying as he aligned his hips with mine and pushed into me. It was a burning pain and I immediately pulled away and out from behind the transformer. I fixed my jeans and began walking home as quickly I could. He followed soon after. He began to walk with me, saying it wasn’t a big deal, how it was just the tip. I wanted to go home as quickly as I could, but I was sore. After a few streets of him reassuring me that it was okay, I told him I needed to sit down because I needed to wait for the pain to stop. He said he would wait with me, after all I shouldn’t be walking home alone at night. We found a grass hill to sit on a few feet off the sidewalk. He told me it was normal for things to hurt, that it was just something I had to get over. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. He leaned over and kissed my cheek, attempting to be sweet. I said nothing. He kissed my cheek again, then my ear, telling me that I was so tight and that it was going to hurt, but that it was okay. I told him I didn’t care, that I didn’t want to try it again. His kissing crept down my neck again. I stood still. I held my breath as he unbuttoned his pants and took himself out. He pulled down my jeans, not bothering with my button or zipper. He again assured me it would be okay as he pulled me onto him, forcing his entire length into me. The pain was worse this time, my eyes watered and my stomach twist. I didn’t want this, it was wrong. I stood up, pulling my pants back up and felt
By Chariti Niccole A testimony
I was so excited. I was finally a big girl and was allowed to take a bath by myself. No mom, no dad, just me having fun in the tub. As a three-year-old there was nothing cooler than that. After my bath, I grabbed my towel, wrapped up and went to my room. I was always an independent child. I walked into my room and started to put my pajamas on that my parents left for me on the bed. I heard the door open and I assumed it was my mom coming to help, but I was wrong. It was my cousin John who we were living with. He picked me up and laid me on the bed. Confusion consumed me, but I remember being told not to say anything. As his hand touched me as he touched himself, thoughts ran through my mind. “Where is my mom, my dad? Where is my aunt to stop her son?” No one was there, just me and him. This horrific chain of events happened more than once and sometimes John’s older brother, Michael, would join. Fortunately, my mind has only allowed me to vividly remember the first time. I am not sure how my parents found out, but once they did we moved out of that house and my aunt moved herself and her three sons across the country shortly after. It turned into a huge family issue that was quickly covered up and partial blame was placed on me by my grandparents. Somehow they believed a three-year-old was able to seduce a teenage boy. At age five, my parents sent me to child therapy. “Do you remember being touched? How did that make you feel?” the therapist would ask me. “I don’t want to talk about that,” I said. “Can we just play the game?” That was my response every time. I convinced myself at a very young age that I was going to be OK and that what happened was not going to affect me. Nightmares about being kidnapped in the night and scary men sneaking in my room to kill me began around second grade. I found myself clinging to my parents, sleeping in their room until I was 11 years old. When I did sleep alone, every light was on and the door was open. Nothing or no one was going to surprise me.
warmth in between my legs. I reached my fingers into underwear and pulled them out to see red. I was bleeding. My head was spinning. Before he could get up himself, I was already down the street. I was walking as fast as I could. The warmth began to fill my underwear. He tried to catch up with me, but I kept a good pace ahead of him. He would try to yell after me, but I refused to talk to him. I could feel the blood leaking, I remember touching the outside of my jeans, and once again my fingers being bloodied. My heart was racing as I tried to hurry home, ignoring the pain I felt. Hoping that the blood wasn’t as much as it was appearing to be. I walked passed houses with Christmas lights, as I was panicking about what had just happened. What had happened? It was wrong. I didn’t want it. Was it rape? But he was my boyfriend, he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, would he? I could hardly keep my thoughts together as the warmth spread to my thighs. Once I was home, I went immediately upstairs into my room. I didn’t even check if my parents were home. I just wanted to go upstairs and clean myself up. I stood in the bathtub and took off my pants. Blood had soaked through my jeans and my underwear. I felt light headed, I hadn’t seen so much blood before. As I changed my clothing, blood dripped into as small puddle into the tub. I had heard that it was normal to bleed when you lost your virginity, but no one told me it would be this much. I was in shock, I couldn’t process anything that was happening to me. I just went through motions as my brain struggled to grasp what was going on. I felt dirty, not only because I was soiled in my blood, but because I had just had sex – wait was it sex? Was this how it was supposed to be? It couldn’t be, this was wrong. I cleaned myself up in the tub and put in an over night pad. I went through two over night pads that night. My parents couldn’t find out. Would they be mad at me for what happened? Maybe this is how it is supposed to be and I would be in trouble. I had to hide the evidence. I took my jeans and threw them in the wash and buried the ruined underwear at the bottom of the trash. I wish I could say I had a revelation and told my parents and reported the incident. But I didn’t and haven’t to this day. I just went to bed, not understanding what had just happened to me, and if the amount of blood was normal, but knowing it felt wrong.
More than 15 years passed. I was living in Washington state again and John was in the process of moving back as well. I wondered how I was going to react once I saw him. Would I cuss him out, slap him or maybe even stab him. Emotions I never felt before consumed my being and I felt weakened as these thoughts overwhelmed me. I walked into my Aunt’s house to find John sitting on the couch. He looked right at me. “ Wow!” he said. “You’re grown now.” The look in his eyes made my blood boil. Even with all the hatred and anger running through my veins, for some reason I smiled and gave him a hug, welcoming him back to Washington. Occasionally the older cousins would enjoy a night on the town, bar hopping or hitting up clubs in downtown Seattle. All the family that was over 21 would go out, him included. I would catch him staring at me or looking at my butt. “He has daughters himself, has he not changed at all?” I would think to myself. As cordial as I was, I knew I could not be around him any longer. Less than a month after John arrived I decided to move back to San Diego to save myself from the constant memory of what he did, but to also save him. In 2013 I was in my first real relationship. I believed he was the one and no one could tell me any different. As our relationship grew I began to wonder, “When can I tell him about what happened to me? Should I even tell him?” Guilt began to fill my conscious every day. I tried to bring it up, but was cut off by my own emotions. It was then I realized that what happened to me back when I was three years old is still affecting me today. I began to look for a local therapist that specialized in people who were sexually abused as children, and because of my faith, I wanted my therapist to be a Christian. Today the search continues for someone that I can truly open up to so that my healing process can begin. Although I have forgiven my cousins, their mom, my grandparents who tried to cover this up and my parents, the pain lives on. Every day I pray that no other little girl has to go through what I went through. I pray that no other family is torn apart. In the end I know I will be ok. I know that somehow what happened to me has made me stronger and my testimony will help women of all ages. Maybe the time is now.
Her keys Dan Cordero/Staff
The Southwestern College Sun
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
E D I T O R 'S N O T E The following stories are personal experiences of sexual assault and harassment written by members of The Sun staff. Some stories are graphic and may be disturbing to readers. Please read at your own discretion.
By L.R.L. A testimony
I am a 27-year-old student at Southwestern College. I am a survivor of sexual assault. I was five years old when my cousin began molesting me. Mostly I would have to perform oral sex on him. He would stroke my head as he moaned my name. At first I was not sure what to do. As I grew up the oral sex became more as he would insert his fingers into my vagina and kiss me. This continued until I was 12 years old and I started my menstruation. I did not tell anyone until I was in seventh grade. I was in a sex education class presentation when it became clear to me that what my cousin did to me was a bad thing. I screwed up all the courage I had and I told my parents. My mom offered me some amount of solace saying that I did not have to go to family functions. My dad, however, blamed me. He asked me why it took so long for me to speak up. When I stayed quiet, trying to not crumble, he answered for me. He said I enjoyed what my cousin did to me. That was the beginning of my downward spiral. I did not start drinking. I did not do drugs. I self harmed. I would not cut myself on purpose, but I would scratch a little too hard. I would not move out of the way when I got to close to a wall or a pole. I would pick at scabs until I bled or until there was no scab left to pick. I refused to acknowledge any sort of romantic feelings for any male throughout middle school. I focused on school and a few close friends. I tried to get good grades. When I got to high school a male classmate asked me out. I only had what I knew from entertainment media what dating was and with the background of what happened to me. The decision was really hard to make. At first, he was amazing — walking home with me, holding my hand and telling me that I was pretty. Shortly after a month together, though, everything changed. We shared a history class and a PE period and hang out as much as we could. One rainy day we were watching a movie in history. I fell asleep in class and I woke up feeling a burning sensation on my arm. I opened my eyes to see he was carving his name into my flesh with a paper clip. The teacher saw this, but did nothing. I was bleeding and the teacher did not encourage me wash it off or go see the nurse or even put on a bandage. Later that day in PE, held inside the gym because of the rain, we sat on some bleachers and he pulled out a razor blade. I frantically searched the room for a teacher, but I did not see one. He pressed the razor blade into my thumb. I had the sick feeling that even if I did tell someone he could deny it or say I cut my thumb on some metal. It was then that I knew even teachers who you are supposed to trust with this kind of thing cannot be trusted. After that he started to hit me, leaving bruises on my arms. He found a place where we would eat lunch and no
By Netzai Sanchez A testimony
While serving as a foster sister for more than 10 years, I bore witness to many cases of child abuse. Now that I am an adult and understand the concept of consent and abuse, I tear up remembering the little faces of my sweet little foster siblings. One case that still haunts me is that of a four-year-old girl my family picked up from the Polinsky Children’s Center along with her six-month-old baby brother. He had multiple fractures, including broken ribs, a broken leg and skull fractures. The girl did not have any visible injuries. Hers were internal and emotional. She had been raped by her abusive father. Something I still cannot understand is that for many months these children were forced to visit their parents every week. It was their parents’ right, we were told. How can that be? An abused animal is immediately removed from the dangerous place and the aggressor is taken into custody. Abused children, however, face more danger from abusive parents. Americans value the ideal that we are innocent until proven guilty, but why do these innocent children have to be repeatedly exposed to monsters? Worse, they are often forced by the County of San Diego to testify in court in front of a judge against their abusive parent. A parent accused of rape should not have the same rights as a parent who has a child taken away for other reasons. These children should not have too see these people if they are now “safe.” Even if the parent does not abuse the child anymore, his (or her) presence alone puts the child put under extreme distress and mental torment.
one could see us. He had me sit on his lap and he would digitally penetrate me while telling me I was an ugly fat bitch who could never be loved. He would also do this on our walks to my house. I said no. I said I did not feel comfortable with what he was doing. He would smirk and do it anyway. Another time, when I was having lunch in my drama class, the teacher stepped out, but left the door unlocked. My boyfriend found me. He called me a fat bitch as he forcefully inserted a finger into my anus. I just stood there crying. He smiled, pulled his finger out, shoved it in my face and walked out of the class. By the time the teacher came back, I stopped crying and told her that I had to get to my next class. I did not even bother telling my parents. I finally ended the relationship after an incident when I was consoling a male friend who had been dumped. I went to hug my friend as my then-boyfriend watched. He ripped me from the hug. He pulled my right arm behind me, pushing up into my shoulder, almost dislocating my arm. I knew if I did not end the relationship he would do something worse to me. I was lucky that he graduated high school shortly after that incident. Even so, he would still visit me until I enrolled in a secure charter school he could not access. It was around this time I became best friends with a female classmate. Out of curiosity we had sex. It was a onetime thing, as she did not want to be my girlfriend. I ended up dating a guy I had met online shortly after that. He was not as physically abusive as my cousin or exboyfriend. I became dependent on him. I was so blinded by lust that I did not see this. He would comfort me and tell me he loved me. We had so much in common and he seemed to read my mind. This man was diagnosed as a psychopath while he was in jail. He was arrested at my high school for having a weapon on school grounds. While my relationship with him ended badly, the scars he left on me were just as bad. After that relationship I began a sexual relationship with my best friend, a female. I am a submissive. Being a submissive means that I submit to my dominant partner. I was in a master/slave relationship. I would call her my master and she would give me sexual tasks to perform such as filming myself masturbating. Most of the tasks given to me were OK. I did it because it pleased me as well as her. It took a turn for the worst, though, and I became uncomfortable. I am a masochist. I enjoy certain types of pain. My biggest fetish is being bitten. In a healthy Bondage, Dominance, Sadism and Masochism relationship it is the submissive or slave of the relationship that is in charge of the relationship. In my BDSM relationship, I was not in control. She would bite my chest, upper arms and neck. I enjoyed until she bit me so hard that she left scars. I have one visible scar on my wrist where without any foreplay, she just randomly grabbed my arm and bit my wrist. I said stop, do not bite me, not so hard. I said no, do not bite me there. I started to cry from the pain of the bite. I have another scar on my chest near my breast where she bit me, again, ignoring my pleas. She would also use a strap on to vaginally penetrate me. I did not get any pleasure from having sex with her. I would
I can still remember the nights my little foster sister would wake up with what doctors call “nocturnal terror” due to trauma. I remember how every time entering McDonald’s where she would normally see her parents for visitations, she would complain of abdominal pain and sometimes even pee her little pants. Where the social workers fighting for these children? No. Social workers fought for more visitation hours for the parents. Why were no social workers fighting for these kids? At times I would overhear my dad tell my mom how angry he felt every time he had to supervise these visits. Children, he complained, where not treated fairly. We did our best to handle these situations. It was tough hearing a delusional mother trying to brainwash an abused child into thinking her father loved her and that he was innocent of any wrong doing. My foster sister knew what her father had done to her. When she was six years old she went to court. She was asked to point with her little finger to the man that had abused her. She pointed to her father. Somehow this little girl found love and forgiveness. When she was told of her father’s 15 year prison sentence and her mother’s 12 year sentence, she cried. Most grown-ups try to be good people and create a good world for the little ones. Most of us try to teach them to be good people and we try to set an example. But it is the children who teach us. No matter what they might go through or how they are taken for granted, their innocence prevails. They are little white canvases that adults need to paint with care and love. They are still children and although they might have had their virginity taken away, their dignity is intact.
tell her that it I was in an uncomfortable position or that I needed a break, but she would continue thrusting into me. I would often cry silently in my room when she left my house. I began to notice that she stole things from me. I confronted her about it and she would only shrug. I told my mom about the stealing. I told my master that I did not want her at my house because things would go missing when she was over. While I was gone one day she went over to my house and told my mom that I had raped her and that I was lying about the stolen items. We stopped talking for a few years, but she recently came back into my life. I am a softhearted person who believes in second chances. We went back into the master/slave dynamic and it was OK for while. There would be days that she would come over and I would just lay there on my back, legs spread with her penetrating me repeatedly forcefully for two to three hours at a time with only one 15 minute break. I would tell her that I needed a few days to recover from such violent sex and she ignored me. I told her I did not want to have sex and she would use her role as a dominant saying that it is a slave’s duty to keep her master pleased. After a while I would not say anything at all. It helped to fake orgasms to get her to finish, but at the same time it only made things worse as she is competitive and would try and break her last record. It got to the point where I could not handle the abuse, so I began to cut my thighs. It is concentrated just above the knee so that I can still wear shorts, but will not be seen unless I do not have pants or shorts on. I felt disgusting because I allowed myself to be used like that. I have not told my parents about this, either. In my family women are supposed to be with men only. If I told them that I was raped by another woman they would surely disown me. It surprises me that I am able to have sex without any complications in spite of the trauma I received when I was with her. The worst part about coming to terms with this is when, I attended the Men Against Sexual Violence talk at SWC (last month) and realized this was not my fault, that I am the victim of sexual assaults. It really hit home when the discussion turned to consent saying “Yes means yes, everything else means no.” When I was with my ex-best friend and master, I was to the point where I would not even say no or say anything because even if I did she would ignore me. I have since cut her out of my life, but she still stalks me. She parks in front of my home and texts me that she is watching my family. She asks if I could let her in. She is constantly making false social media accounts to follow my accounts. I have told my closest friends. They say to file a restraining order against her. I have no proof of her doing anything to me that I could get a restraining order. My scars have since faded, but the memories are still fresh. Part of me remembers the good times we had and the other part of me just wants her to go away. Anyone can be sexually assaulted, including those in BDSM relationships. I am not saying all relationships are bad, but there are some people who would use the kinky lifestyle for their own ulterior motives.
"Anyone can be sexually assaulted, including those in BDSM relationships. I am not saying all relationships are bad, but there are some people who would use the kinky lifestyle for their own ulterior motives."
Mirella Lopez, editor
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES By Victoria Gonzalez A testimony
It may seem to some of us that catcalls are part of life. For girls, it seems to be the point in your life when you finally notice that those bulges that started to appear under your clothes actually might mean something to other people, namely, men. For me, the great comedienne Tina Fey stated it best in her book “Bossypants.” “Almost everyone first realized they were becoming a grown woman when some dude did something nasty to them,” Fey wrote. “It was mostly men yelling shit from cars. Are they a patrol sent out to let girls know they’ve crossed into puberty? If so, it’s working.” That stuff has probably happened to every human being, even if he or she didn’t notice it or didn’t qualify it as such at the moment it happened. I remember it first happened to me when I was in late middle school walking beside a long fence that ran around my school. I was minding my own business when a truck filled with albañiles (construction workers) rode past me with the horn blaring and all the men whistling and calling me an assortment of phrases with varying degrees of rudeness. I was mad at myself for not giving them the finger or something, but it was so sudden that all I could do was stay rooted to the spot and feel my cheeks begin to burn red in shame. Next time, I vowed, I’ll give them the finger. Afterwards, I thought “Shouldn’t I be proud that I had become attractive enough that some gross men felt compelled to yell stuff at me?” No, I realized, this is no reason to feel proud. Later, on a lovely spring day, my mom and I are being pampered at a local salon in Tijuana in preparation for a cousin’s wedding that day at which I would be a bridesmaid. Even though I thought the color combo of the dress and heels the bride had picked was god awful (dank purple and vomited fuchsia), the cut of the dress was not that terrible and the massive mask of makeup that was spread on me covered my true facial features pretty well. Anyway, I looked very purple, but decent. As we left the salon to get in the car, I was moving slowly because of the teetering heels
and long dress and to my great dismay, a disgustingly large vehicle filled with men was moving slowly up the street, enjoying my awkward gait. I could hear the sly whistling, and I remembered what I had promised myself years earlier. My tiny right middle finger flew up straight at them, but my cheeks still burned under all that makeup. To my mom and the ladies from the salon, this whole exchange had been hilarious. My mom even scolded me for the obscene gesture I made. I felt down and slightly angry the entire way to the church. Conflicting ideas swarmed through me. One part of my head said “Hey girl, you look good to those guys, so it’s all good,” but my smarter side clamored, “Why do these guys do this to me? I should feel flattered, but I just don’t.” Now I can say I’ve become a little bit wiser, but this stuff still keeps happening to me. Luckily, nothing has escalated, but it makes me think that if a male feels happy or attracted by my presence, I just wish that he would simply say “Hey, you look very nice today” or whatever without having to make me feel uncomfortable. I get it, though. Some dudes maybe just do not know how to say it. Jerry Seinfeld expressed this very clearly. “It’s the only thing we know for sure, but how do we get them?” he asked. “Oh, we don’t know about that. The next step after that we have no idea. This is why you see men honking car horns and yelling from construction sites. These are the best ideas we’ve had so far. The man is in the car and a woman walks in front of the car. He honks the horn. This man is out of ideas.” Seinfeld sort of apologizes for male behavior. “Wherever there are women, we have a man working on the situation, though he may not be our best man,” he said. “We are everywhere, we’re honking our horns to serve you better.” It can seem funny or even flattering to some but not to me, not anymore. I know now that the bottom line is that people should not have to go through this stuff because it is sexual harassment and should be treated as such.
"Shouldn't I feel proud that I had become attractive enough that some gross men felt compelled to yell stuff at me? No, I realized, this is no reason to feel proud."
By Bianca Quilantan A testimony
I remember the dizziness, the spinning, the painful tearing sensation and the feeling of being powerless. Every time I think of it, the urge to curl up into a ball and stare at my blue walls takes over and tears start to well in my eyes. My stomach twists into knots, my breathing grows shallow and my body trembles. During my first semester of college I was raped. From a young age, I was told by family and by every Catholic catechism teacher that my virginity was sacred. Give yourself fully, fruitfully and totally to your husband was what I was told over and over by countless chastity videos featuring football player and proud Catholic Philip Rivers. I remained a virgin throughout high school and planned to continue throughout college until I found the “one.” I even lied to my best friends in order for them to leave me alone about my virginity. Being a virgin was my choice. Sex was not on my mind as I began my first year of college. I was taking 15 units, working 15 hours a week and trying to balance my family life as a commuter student. I was, however, fighting loneliness. I remember scanning around the Student Union East building at SDSU during my lunch breaks from the Starbucks I was working at and seeing all of the happy faces of most incoming freshman sitting with their roommates, the first new friends that most freshmen make. Desperate for friends, I attempted to join clubs and even rushed a sorority. While rushing, I met a girl that went through the process with me and we became friends. We both dropped out of the rush process early on, but kept in sporadic contact. One day she texted me to ask if I would like to go to a “kickback” with her. I had a few hours until my curfew and decided that it would be okay to just pop in and see what it was like. Trying to hold on to what I thought was blossoming into a friendship, I followed a girl I essentially knew nothing about to a party in the apartments by SDSU. It was somewhat familiar territory because I had a cousin who lived close
by, so I decided why not? I had never been to a “kickback” before and it was different from the small high school gettogethers I used to attend. Alcohol, loud music and people who I had never met filled the apartment. I felt somewhat out of my comfort zone, but decided to do what everyone else was doing, including drinking. I had never really had alcohol before besides a few sips of church wine and a taste of tequila at family events. So when my new-found friend handed me a cup of a drink called jungle juice, I decided there would be no harm in trying something new. After taking a few swigs of the concoction an overwhelming feeling of fatigue engulfed my body. I continued to sip on what seemed to resemble flavored rubbing alcohol. I began to feel dizzy and lightheaded. I looked around to find my friend, but could not. The sounds of Sage the Gemini became muffled and echoed, ringing in my ears as an unfamiliar voice behind me told me I looked tired and should probably sit down. Was this what it was like to be drunk? Maybe I was a lightweight? I thought there was no way I could have gotten drunk so quickly. So I didn’t think twice about the offer to go sit and I simply went along with the voice behind me. At first I was gently guided away from the muffled echoed sounds of the speakers. From that point pain clouds my memory and I cannot remember the in between scenes, only dark clouds. I do remember feeling a heavy mass overbearing me and a dry, tearing sensation. It hurt, yet for some reason I remained emotionless. I remember saying no and remember the large mass go harder on top of me as if my resistance was encouraging. My arms and legs felt limp as my mind wanted to fight, but my body would not let me. I remember him coldly throwing my work pants at me while slamming the door behind him. Darkness dominates my recollection until a moment of clarity emerged and I remember the feeling of my legs trembling as I quickly walked across the campus to my car in PS1. More darkness. I do not remember driving home. I was scolded by my parents for being out past my curfew and was told that nothing good ever happens after 10 p.m. I remember anxiously waiting for the scolding to end so I could take a shower. For about an hour my shower rained hot water as I frantically tried to scrub off the overwhelming gross feeling. The reality is I cannot rid myself of the grimy sensation, even today. Filth seemed to penetrate deep
into my bones. The next morning I tried to continue on as normal, repressing any memories of the incident. I felt physically sick. I was nauseous and vomited a few times. I could not keep down any food and I did not want to eat anyway while the grimy feeling continued to burn in me. I had lost the one thing that everyone had told me to keep sacred and I felt dirty. I felt worthless. How would I tell anyone what had happened? Would I be considered a whore? How was I expected to explain something I still did not fully understand? I still tell myself I would not have been at that party if I had not been desperate for friends. I would not have been raped if I had just gone home as I had planned. Two years passed and I repressed that day from my memory as long as I could. My family was going through difficult times with my grandfather being sick. An overwhelming feeling of embarrassment would rush through me each time I stepped on campus. I was embarrassed that I could not remember who had raped me. I was embarrassed by the fact that he could be sitting near me in the sea of 500 students that surrounded me during lectures. I began to spend more time sleeping and picking up more shifts at work rather than go to class. I did not want to get out of bed. I only wanted to be near people I knew, my family and my coworkers. I sucked it up and continued on, not letting anyone know what had happened. I continued thinking it was my fault and at maybe I wanted it to happen. I couldn’t remember fully and I don’t think I ever want to. It became unbearable. I flunked out of SDSU because I never wanted to attend class after the rape. I was raped and since then have never fully come to terms with it. My eyes burn and tears stream down my face as I write this. My voice shakes and my chest tightens as I recount my story. I tell others to be strong, even though I struggle to be strong. I find it difficult to put on a brave face and find the right words for other women who have been assaulted. I have learned not to force others to speak up if they are not ready. If they are not ready to report, they are not ready. If they are not ready to say what happened, they are not ready. If they are ready, never tell a victim that you know what they are going through or that you understand how they feel. Until you have been in their shoes, you don’t know how it feels and it is not real to you. Don’t question, just listen.
Mirella Lopez, editor
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES SEXUAL ASSAULT
April 2017—Vol. 60, Issue 7
By Cristofer Garcia A testimony
One of the strangest aspects that has stuck out to me about the sexual harassment that have been shared with me is the randomness of the events. How a normal day becomes something completely unexpected and changed their lives forever. It was a Thursday or Friday afternoon. I was at the SWC library working on a paper. It was the second floor and I was sitting at a table close to the big window, right past the bathroom. She was sitting in the table right across from me, her back toward me. I had not recognized her. He comes out of nowhere, a small guy walking from the other end of the library. He stops in front of her as she’s studying and starts a conversation. He keeps talking to her. It seems to be a regular interaction. He gets closer. She starts to seem disinterested. He gets even closer and keeps talking even when she starts to look annoyed. He sits down in the chair next to hers. She moves seats. He follows. She moves seats again, now she’s moving to the other side of the table. He follows. She moves seats again. That’s when I realized something was seriously wrong. Now she is facing me. I can see her. I recognize her and can see the look on her face. She looks at me, and walks over as soon as she recognizes me. She starts crying. Confused and dumbfounded I don’t know what to do other than ask what’s wrong. Then she tells me he wouldn’t stop touching her under the table as he was following her across the seats. Surprised, I don’t know what to tell her other than “I’m sorry, it’s not your fault.” I look at him as he’s still lingering at the table. His face doesn’t show remorse, only apathy and indifference. A part of me wants to walk over to him and another part of me just wants to stay with her. I look at her, tell her she didn’t deserve this and glance over at the guy again. She’s more important that he is, so I stay with her. It wasn’t dark, it wasn’t empty and it wasn’t late. She wasn’t flirting. She wasn’t partying. She wasn’t doing anything. Every stupid stereotype about
sexual harassment was missing. She literally did nothing but sit down in a library and study for a test. In just a few moments, what was a normal day turned into a nightmare for my friend as she found herself crying in the library after being molested in front of bystanders, including myself, who did nothing to stop it. She was in the middle of a crowded library and no one realized what was happening until it was too late. It all just happened so fast, I couldn’t figure out which way to go. Stay with her or leave her alone as I follow the perpetrator. Maybe tell someone else to follow him and call the police, but then everyone would know and it wasn’t my right to tell everyone what she’d just gone through, I could tell she didn’t want it public. I told her whenever she was ready we could go get her someone to talk to but I could see she was just crying and obviously wasn’t ready to talk as she was just trying to get herself together. I couldn’t leave her, so I have to look into the perpetrators eyes as he calmly walks away as if nothing had happened. I was sure to get a good look to describe him to the police. There’s a certain amount of guilt that starts to take over. Maybe if I’d done something sooner, if I’d realized what was going on, maybe I could’ve stopped this. How could this happen in a crowded library on an afternoon? What if I’d been in a situation like this before in which the victim didn’t recognize anyone in the crowd and so they just kept it to themselves, sobbing quietly in the middle of us bystanders who are oblivious to what happened? He was caught on the same day and found to have a history of harassment in SWC but was not arrested, instead he was given a warning and released. Days later, he was arrested for harassing someone at SDSU. My initial reaction was anger. Then I realized just taking people to court doesn’t solve this problem, but rather someone like him has a problem and needs help. I learned that you can’t make people tell you their problems and sometimes you just have to let them have their time. When they want help you have to be ready. Above all, I learned it’s best to keep an eye on your surroundings and take an active role than to be a bystander who is only useful after the fact.
"Every stupid stereotype about sexual harassment was missing. She literally did nothing but sit down in a library and study for a test."
By Priscilla Gallardo A testimony
I’m not writing this as another piece for the newspaper. I’m writing this to tell my experience and if one person out there can relate, then I can consider that an accomplishment. The first man to touch me did not have my consent. I was seven. I barely knew where babies came from when I found out what rape was. He was my uncle, someone who was supposed to protect me, someone I was supposed to trust. I write this because that experience shifted my idea of family, especially male figures. I was always shown special attention being the baby of the house and I was socialized to believe it was normal. Everything changed when my grandparents became ill. My parents decided the best thing would be to move them in with us, along with their youngest son, my uncle. Things went downhill once he moved out of the ganginfested rat hole he came from. He quickly noticed the attention I received and took full advantage. He started telling me “secrets” to see if I would tell anyone. I didn’t. One day I thought I was home with just my grandma. I walked into the garage to grab a toy and found him with a needle in his arm,
Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: email@example.com
shooting heroin. He showed me a gun and said, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you.” I was seven when I was raped. I ran upstairs, my face still burning hot with tears streaming down my cheeks onto my Hello Kitty pjs. I threw my blood-stained clothing in the trash. I spent the rest of the day hiding in a corner of my closet, dreading every footstep I heard outside my door. This went on for more than a year. My innocent body became accustomed to disassociating myself and I already knew to discard any article of clothing stained with blood and guilt. I threw away all my favorite clothes that year. Once the situation was exposed, my abuser confronted me one final time, threatened me at knifepoint, told me to be a “good girl” and “stay quiet if you know what’s good for you.” He fled to Mexico like the cowardly son of a bitch he is. I never got my justice. It took four years of weekly therapy and the remains of my childhood for me to bare my soul to a child psychologist who had no idea how much she would impact the rest of my life. Being that I was so young when I was repeatedly raped, I did not fully comprehend the severity of the situation and I did not understand everything being said around
me. Police officers referred to me as “the victim.” The psychologist who spent two hours talking to me in a small, dull room said I was “another victim,” but that it would all be OK in due time. The trauma specialist on the other side of the mirror called me a “typical victim.” Members of my own family treated me like I was a helpless puppy. One day my mom was telling a close family friend what happened and I overheard her say the v word, and I became enraged. I stormed into the room and began yelling “Victim! Victim! Is that all I am to everybody? A victim!” I hated being labeled a victim. The word has such negative connotation. Victim of sexual assault, victim of violence, victim of whatever circumstances, but why are we victims? To me a victim means being weak, helpless, someone who has absolutely nothing left. I refuse to see myself as a victim. I never want anyone to hear my story and feel pity for me. I am not a victim. I am a fighter, always have been, always will be. I have had negative things happen to me, but I came out the other side with my fists up, ready to swing. I’m writing this because I am more than the statistic that one in every four people is
By Luz Aramburo A testimony
My windshield was dirtier than I’d ever had it. The wiper fluid was only making it worse by turning the dirt into grime. I drive up to a gas station and I prop the pump so it will fill up handsfree. I pick up a wiper and head to my windshield. As I start rubbing the soap on, out of the corner of my eye, I see a man at the other side of the pump lean against the trunk of his car. He folds his arms, turns his body to face me and stares right at me without any pretense. Great... I am immediately annoyed, but I know it won’t last so I avoid eye contact and do my best to ignore him. I go back to cleaning my windshield, and the guy won’t stop staring at me. Of all the gas stations in Chula Vista I just had to run into this. I realize I’m going to have to give him an intense glare. This is how I deal with men who don’t have the decency to try to hide their thoughts — just try, that’s all I ask for. All the hatred people think I don’t have I concentrate in this glare. As I am finishing the driver’s side of the windshield, I build up my courage and hatred and finally look tight back at him. He barely diverts his gaze two feet to the right of me, like he is “staring into space”. I get confused. Usually, the glare works. I realize that when I look down again, his stare will come back and if I clean the other side of my windshield, I’ll be showing him my butt. I don’t want to show it to him. I don’t know how this got so complicated all of a sudden. Ugh. It’s weird all he is doing is looking
at me but it was so irritating that there is nothing I could do about it. If i started yelling at him or anything I would look like some insane lady. I console myself, “So what if he stares at my butt?” I need to clean my windshield, there is no way around it and I’ll never see him again anyways. Besides, it’s not like he’s going to try something, it’s broad daylight and there are half a dozen other people pumping gas around us... But God knows what will go through his mind when I bend over the hood. I start wiping off the soap. He’s still staring, more intensely than a regular stare. I realize I’m going to have to give him an intense glare. This is how I deal with men who don’t have the decency to try to hide their thoughts — just try, that’s all I ask for. All the hatred people think I don’t have I concentrate in this glare. As I am finishing the driver’s side of the windshield, I build up my courage and hatred and finally look up. He diverts his glance just a little to where he’s “staring off into space.” He wasn’t staring AT me anymore, if I say something I’ll look like an insecure feisty girl who thinks everyone’s after her. I get confused, my glare always works. I realize that when I look down again, his stare will come back and if I clean the other side of my windshield, I’ll be exhibiting my butt. I don’t want to show it to him. In the stiffest and most awkward walk I can make, I head to the back of my car to go around. So what if he stares at my butt? I need to clean my windshield, there is no way around it and I’ll never see him again
anyways. Besides, it’s not like he’s going to try something, it’s broad daylight and there are half a dozen other people putting gas around us...But God knows what will go through his mind when I bend over the hood. I just want to clean the stupid windshield. At slightly past $16 I stop the pump and get in my car. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Inside the car, I still felt naked. Tennis shoes, jeans and a shirt that’s so old and lose I usually don’t wear in public. My hair had been rushed into a ponytail. I drove off with half a grimy windshield disappointed in myself. It didn’t make sense. How on earth did he make me feel naked when 5 min earlier I felt sluggish. If I had been wearing a nice dress, I would have blamed myself. Nothing really happened, not really. People around us probably didn’t even notice. I’m one of the lucky ones who haven’t been sexually assaulted and even then, I can’t put up with a stare, not that type anyway. I can’t bare the thought of having someone strip me in their minds, they strip me in mine too. It’s that same feeling where you dream you’re in your underwear and there is nowhere to go. The effects of a stupid stare are surreal, almost ludicrous. First stoplight. I remembered a conversation I overheard between two classmates in high school. “Dude, but girls never notice when you’re staring.” I interrupted. I had to. “Ohohoh,” I snapped. “ WE NOTICE! Trust me…”
Rape is a problem across San Diego County, but concentrated around university and community college campuses. Southwestern College crime reports and statistics did not include some sex crimes and at least one rape reported to campus police and/or the dean of student services, according to victims. Colleges and universities are required by federal law to record all sex crimes and to publicly report them annually.
Cartography by JoseLuis Baylon//Staff
2015=1 2014=0 2013=0
Point Loma Nazarene University
2015=5 2014=10 2013=5
University of San Diego
2015=16 2014=13 2013=0
California State University San Marcos
2015=17 2014=10 2013=20
University of California San Diego
2015=38 2014=24 2013= 8
San Diego State University
2015=0 2014=0 2013=0
San Diego Miramar College
2015=2 2014=1 2013=1
San Diego Mesa College
San Diego City College
2015=0 2014= 1 (at Cuyamaca) 2013= 1 (at Grossmont)
2015= 2 2014= 1 2013= 0
by Brian Del Carmen//Copy Editor
Reported sex crimes on regional college campuses
April 2017â€”Vol. 60, Issue 7
2012-15 Reported rapes in San Diego County
A16 Page Design by Bianca Quilantan Tel: (619) 482-6368 email: firstname.lastname@example.org