Spelman Pushes for Consent Classes After Rape
Last week, tweets from an anonymous Twitter account, @RapedatSpelman surfaced. The account was said to belong to a Spelman College freshman who said she was raped by four Morehouse students at a party.
The alleged student said the school did nothing to help her after she came forward and attempted to persuade her to give the boys a “pass” for their actions.
The allegations and subsequent response from Spelman’s administration have prompted conversations about campus sexual violence and the unique challenges HBCUs face when addressing them.
While Spelman and Morehouse have been called out for the alleged crimes on their campuses, the issue of college rape is not limited to their spaces. According to WABE, more than 150 institutions across the country were under investigation last year for sexual crimes.
Clarissa Brooks, a sophomore who attends Spelman, organized the protest once she saw the @RapedatSpelman Twitter account last week.
“…by eight o’clock, myself and some of the other students were basically writing a statement to the president and organizing a protest,” she says after discovering the account on May 2.
Both Spelman and Morehouse issued statements last week outlining the steps they are continuing to take in order to address the most recent complaint. The schools, who claim to have been unaware of the incident, say they are encouraging the Twitter user to come forward.
Brooks says the protest on campus prompted many students to share similar stories of assault. She also says that the victim’s claims aren’t new or shocking to many students.
“The fact that this student had to create an anonymous account in the first place shows how unsafe of an environment she feels she’s in,” Brooks said.
Brooks says that soon after the incident was made public, a Morehouse student drew up an offensive letter and distributed it across the Atlanta University Center campuses.
“A Morehouse student basically wrote a rape contract.”
The letter read: “If found in violation of this consent form I (h** signature) will be indicted and prosecuted accordingly as well as be exposed campus wide as a lying b****.”
As a result of the letter, both Spelman and Morehouse announced changes to their school’s Title IX policies regarding rape and sexual assault.
Research released by the Justice Department revealed that Black women tend to report campus sexual assaults at a significantly lower rate than their white counterparts (17 percent compared to 44 percent).
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