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An open letter to Wendy Kaminer, author of “What to Make of the Rape Accusations at Amherst College”

Dear Ms. Kaminer,

I read your article, What to Make of the Rape Accusations at Amherst College, today, and I feel it necessary to express how disappointed I am. If there’s a subcategory in rape culture that angers me most, it’s victim blaming. The harm that comes from blaming a survivor of sexual assault is so substantial, that it often is as traumatic as the assault itself. The blatant mocking of Epifano that occurs throughout your article is simply unacceptable:

“Put aside questions about the accuracy of Epifano’s recollections and the soundness or gross insensitivity of the counselor’s advice. Never mind the absence of discussion about reporting the alleged attack to law enforcement; rape is, after all, a felony, which courts are better equipped to address than colleges. Focus instead on Epifano’s reaction to the prospect of a disciplinary hearing:

Hours locked in a room with him and being called a liar about being raped? No, thank you. I could barely handle seeing him from the opposite end of campus; I knew I couldn’t handle that level of negativity.”

You see, Ms. Kaminer, Epifano denied even the thought of going through a trial in order to protect herself. Maybe that seems ridiculous to you, but sometimes after going through a terrible trauma, one cannot possibly bear the thought of recounting that trauma over and over. Also, Epifano may or may not have known this, but out of every 100 rapes, 46 get reported to the ...