The following are exact quotes from messages I received from other campus survivors after posting a Facebook status expressing disappointment over the outcome of my own Title IX case. These women are brave, they are strong, and they are powerful. My heart breaks for each one of them. We have to do better.
"Hi Caroline. I was so sorry to hear your post. JMU failed me too when I tried to find out who my attacker was... they closed the case without telling me how they investigated or if they checked the security cameras."
"Because this is disgusting. I was assaulted by a [sport] player in my sleep. Woke up to him touching me. This was right after JMU for the championship like same week. I reported it to Title IX but was too scared to bring attention to it."
"I was assaulted my freshman year in an elevator while coming back from a charity event. It was caught on camera and I was told the evidence was insufficient, even though he was positively identified by the police. The [OSARP] here at JMU also told me that he was going through a really hard time in his family life and they didn't think I should pursue charges."
"After the campus police arrived at the scene, took my picture, and wrote down my statement, they pretty much just up and left without providing any resources or information. I was expected to resume my life as a happy, eager college freshman despite the fact that I had undergone a horrific experience right there on campus. I wasn't told about the free counseling services or Title IX."
"I personally won my [OSARP] case, but the way they handled it made me feel as though it wasn't that successful. I somehow came out of it feeling as bad as before. They extended every single deadline they had in place, plus they even tried to charge me for breaking the no contact order when all I did was ask him to get help on his own so I could not go through the process."
"Hi Caroline, I know we don't know each other, but I'm struggling with the same thing with OSARP. Although my abuser was found guilty, JMU decided that two year suspension was good enough. This happened freshman year, I'm a junior and he will be returning fall semester. [OSARP employee] told me the same things, she lied to me, she told me not to go to court, not to talk to anyone. I believe OSARP is behind a huge cover up, of sexual assault on campus. He will be allowed to be an active member of his fraternity and attend parties, date functions, so forth and abuse other women."