If you’re anything like me, school supplies appearing in bulk in storefronts has always put a pit in your stomach. As I kid, I dreaded them as a signal of the end of a season of running barefoot, sleeping past seven, and staying up late to watch Nick at Night. As a graduate student, I see the same supplies as a marker of looming paper deadlines, unfinished readings, and a new semester of student loan debt. As a survivor of campus sexual violence and the institutional betrayal that often follows, I experience an even more complex set of anxieties related to the start of school.Read More
I realized I could not celebrate Father’s day. I had no ability to dance for him. I could not celebrate the countless fathers who have caused pain directly and indirectly to their children through sexual violence.
“Arbitration.” Did you fall asleep yet? Arbitration sounds like a painful procedure or a boring thing accountants discuss. There’s a reason there’s no “Law and Order: Arbitration Unit.” That said, as a law student and EROC’s Legal Fellow, I believe sharing information about our legal system (even the less glamorous information) can equip survivors to be even better self-advocates, especially after experiencing sexual assault.Read More
Since their symptoms aren’t obviously apparent, those who live with invisible disabilities face misunderstanding, false perceptions, judgment, and ableism. This can be made worse for those who are also survivors of sexual assault and/ or rape.Read More
In the midst of the #MeToo movement, there have been countless stories of people sharing their experiences with sexual violence. One of the hardest parts of hearing story after story is realizing the person accused is a friend, loved one, or just an acquaintance. In other words, it is difficult to grapple with the fact someone you thought you knew could commit such a crime.Read More
Essure has been marketed by the medical device industry as a form of permanent contraception, a method intended to bring about sterilization in the female reproductive system. Essure was appealing because it did not require surgery; health care providers would insert coils through the vagina and the cervix, into the fallopian tubes. The device would generate scar tissue and cause a closure within the tubes, blocking the transmission of sperm.Read More
As the Digital Fellow for End Rape On Campus, I spend every day curating content to share on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts as well as creating original designs to spread awareness on the issues that we advocate for. There are pros and cons to social media activism. It allows an individual or organization to get people involved in a cause on a global scale, provides an accessible way to participate for those who are unable to participate in events or volunteer work and creates an open dialogue on the issues. On the other hand, this method of activism has received a lot of criticism for not having a substantial impact or oversimplifying complex issues.Read More
Supreme Court rules crisis pregnancy centers do not need to provide information about abortion services
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) do not need to provide any information about abortion to those who are seeking health care services. Crisis pregnancy centers are faith-based, many of them renounce modern contraception methods, and they often employ deceptive strategies to prevent pregnant people from obtaining abortion.
Our Executive Director, Jess Davidson, reflects on 46 years of Title IX, and what the next few years of the fight for equity under this celebrated civil rights law should look like.Read More
It's Black History Month 2018!
We want to extend a warm welcome to everyone who has been following our Centering the Margins Initiative, hashtag, and social media campaign. We are proud to announce our first campaign of the year paying special tribute to people of the African Diaspora and their impact on the anti-violence field and social justice work nationwide.
To ensure that CTM is amplifying and centering the voices of marginalized communities throughout the year, we are using the heightened visibility that comes with Black History Month to celebrate and promote education of Black history, emphasizing historical Black activism within the U.S. Be sure to follow EROC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the month, as well as the CTM blog, where we'll be highlighting student activism and Black history, present, and future.
Celebrate Christine in her latest promotion to Research Manager at EROC.Read More
Meet Catalina Velasquez, our newest member of the EROC team, and Communications Director!Read More
Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day to mourn, honor, and celebrate the lives of transgender and gender expansive people who are no longer with us due to societal and state sanctioned violence. Today is also an opportunity to celebrate the living, and the contributions of transgender people to the socio-cultural fabric of U.S. society.Read More
Dear survivors, students, parents, and allies,
After almost five years, the time has come for me to move on from End Rape on Campus.
It’s been hard to encapsulate everything that's happened and what it's meant to me in words. To be honest, it hasn't hit me yet that I'm leaving. Holding schools accountable for sweeping sexual assault under the rug has defined each day of my life since I was 19.Read More
I like and am simultaneously frustrated by "Me Too." Speaking out is powerful and important. But the burden shouldn't always be on survivors.Read More
An anonymously submitted poemRead More
Join us and special guest Vice President Joe Biden to hear about you can support us and each other in the fight against sexual assault.Read More
Male is the norm
What do we get?
In need of another
Forced into childhood
Expectations forced on us
Little bitch: weak
Such a bitch: too strong, difficult, too outspoken
Women hold, Men take up space
Physically, spatially, culturally, linguistically
And what of those who live outside men and women?
This is patriarchal
This is rape culture
I am not immune to these transgressions
I am only now becoming aware
Now I hear
I am not a guy, I am not a girl
I am a woman
Jessica Bryn is a feminist and writer passionate about putting an end to sexual violence. She is interested in art as a means to resist oppression in its many forms. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicabrynx.
On July 13th, 2017, you will be listening to survivors, advocates, students accused of sexual assault, and college administrators. Survivors and advocates are asking you and the Trump administration to maintain systems that support and protect survivors of sexual assault. On July 13th, 2017, I encourage you, Ms. DeVos, to ask yourself the following questions:
Have you ever walked into a room and run through sexual violence statistics in your head?
Have you ever counted the women in the room and thought to yourself that one in five of these women have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?
Have you ever counted the men in the room and thought to yourself that one in sixteen of these men have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?
Although these statistics serve to measure college sexual violence generally, have you ever thought about the individuals behind these numbers?
I, Samantha Carly Skaller, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Syracuse University and a three-time sexual assault survivor, am writing to you to humanize this issue and to beg you to stand with survivors and victims. Here is my story:
When I was a sophomore in high school, I was drugged and sexually assaulted by a senior in my driver’s ed class. After the assault, we were forced to sit next to each other in class, to share the same car, and even to give a class presentation together.
During my first semester of college, I was sexually assaulted while I was asleep by a friend who lived on my floor. After the assault, we were forced to live on the same floor, to share the same communal space, and even to walk at the same commencement ceremony this past May.
The weekend before my sophomore year classes started, I was raped in my own bed by the guy I had been dating. After the assault, we were forced to take the same classes, to attend the same music school, and even to perform in concerts together.
After a formal Title IX complaint through my university in reference to the last assault my rapist was found “not responsible” due to insufficient evidence. The system failed me: the system that you, Ms. DeVos, are now part of. On behalf of the countless survivors across this country, I implore you to make sure that no one else has to go through what I have gone through.
I, a survivor of college sexual assault, share my story with you, Ms. DeVos, to teach you about rape culture math. I am the 20% of women who have been sexually assaulted in college. You, the United States Secretary of Education, have the responsibility of knowing these statistics. But beyond that, you have the responsibility of hearing the narratives behind these statistics and consequently taking action to improve and uphold the systems including all current Title IX guidance, policy, Violence Against Women Act funding and programs.
We need all of these systems to make sure that colleges and universities are giving equal treatment to all parties involved in Title IX cases, so that there is no racial, gender, or socioeconomic discrimination on our campuses. We need you to take action because 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted during college, because 8 out of 10 people know their attacker, because 91% of rapes are committed by serial perpetrators, and because one act of sexual violence is one too many.
I have dedicated my undergraduate career to ending interpersonal violence at Syracuse University and more broadly across our country. Survivors and allies on college campuses everywhere have taken the pledge to end this epidemic. We have built campaigns, rallies, art installations, blogs, protests, and more from the bottom up to gain your attention.
Ms. DeVos, we finally have your attention. On July 13th, 2017, it’s on you to assure survivors and victims of college sexual assault that you will uphold current Title IX policy and Violence Against Women Act funding and programs so that together, we can put an end to sexual violence on all campuses in the United States of America.
Samantha Skaller is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Viola Performance and Music History. In the fall she will be pursuing her master’s degree in musicology and women’s and genders studies at McGill University. For the past two years Samantha has worked with the national It’s On Us campaign. She was selected as one of seventeen students to serve on the first ever Student Advisory Committee. This past year she served as the Northeast Regional Advisor for the campaign. As a survivor Samantha tries to use her voice to uplift fellow survivors and encourage cultural change in her community. In her future she hopes to continue to combine her passions for activism and music while seeking justice for all survivors and victims of interpersonal violence.
Over the last several years, survivors, activists, and allies have mobilized to advocate for protecting students’ civil rights and ending sexual violence in schools. By calling for action from our communities and representatives we were able to reform state laws, improve school responses to sexual assault, and ultimately made a major culture shift.
Before the new administration entered the White House, survivors were reasonably concerned about the cultural and legal implications of having an administration that has refused to commit to protecting survivors and a president accused of perpetrating sexual violence. Still, survivors refused to stand on the sidelines to wait and see what would happen next. Instead, we rallied and created the #DearBetsy campaign to ask the then-nominee for the US Department of Education Secretary to commit to upholding Title IX and its guidance.
Now, the Trump Administration has indicated mass rollbacks of vulnerable students’ civil rights protections. This began when the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) guidance, which protected transgender students, was rescinded in February. US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson want to continue this trend of revoking vulnerable students’ civil rights by rescinding the 2011 DCL. This directly undermines the tremendous progress we’ve made and ultimately harms survivors in our schools.
For decades, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) role has been to provide trauma-informed, evidence-based guidance in order to ensure discrimination-free education for all students. Rescinding existing guidance would be a direct threat to survivors’ civil rights and would counter its mission, “to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.”
Without guidance, survivors will lose services that help them stay in school after being assaulted. LGBTQ students, students of color, students with disabilities, and other marginalized students will be harmed the most if guidance is revoked. Additionally, rescinding 2011 DCL under the veil of protecting the rights of the accused is false and deeply misguided, as doing so will repeal protections for both parties, including accused students. All students are worth protecting and every student deserves to experience an education free of sexual violence. Rolling back guidance could give preference to accused students given at the expense of survivors’ rights.
We will not allow the Trump administration to continue hurting survivors of sexual violence. We ask Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson to commit to preserving current Title IX guidance, programs, and policies. We ask legislators to ensure that policy decisions are based on evidence and trauma-informed. We ask university officials to commit to maintaining trauma-informed best practices in schools. To survivors, activists, and allies, we believe you and support you. Survivors everywhere have refused to be silent since this administration began its journey to the White House. We refuse to back down now and we demand our voices be heard.
CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.
You can reach Chardonnay at firstname.lastname@example.org