UVA Victim Story 'Not a Hoax' According to Former Roommate

UVAHave you been following the University of Virginia scandal involving Rolling Stone magazine and the confession of one student who claimed to be raped by seven men at a frat party on campus? The woman, known only as "Jackie," gave an account of being sexually assaulted by some members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Her story has since been called into question by a multitude of fact-checkers, who allege that the details just don't add up. Most recently, a former suite-mate of Jackie's has come forward to state that while she doesn't know specifics, something did indeed happen to her that night.

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The whole story now seems to be a mess of he-said-she-said. Rolling Stone has been eating it for not fact-checking the story, out of "respect" for the victim's privacy. They even issued an apology on Sunday, December 7, saying that they realized they should've contacted Jackie's alleged assailants, and they had come "to the conclusion that [their] trust in [Jackie] was misplaced."

All Greek activities on campus have suspended until January 9, per UVA President Teresa Sullivan, who said, "Even though the facts in the Rolling Stone story are in dispute, sexual misconduct does occur and it has no place at our University. We will continue our efforts to improve our policies and practices, to support survivors with counseling and in other ways, and to rigorously examine our culture and climate."

So the basic thought up to this point is that "Jackie" essentially made the story up. For attention, to seek justice for some other crime, for whatever reason ... the details of her story just don't add up when you put the facts together.

But now an anonymous source claiming to be Jackie's suite-mate has come forward saying something happened to change her entire demeanor that night in the fall of 2012. This person wrote, "While I cannot say what happened that night, and I cannot prove the validity of every tiny aspect of her story to you, I can tell you that this story is not a hoax, a lie, or a scheme ... something terrible happened to Jackie at the hands of several men who have yet to receive any repercussions."

They allege that Jackie was a bright student who for some unknown reason went down a well of despair, stayed in bed watching "dark" Netflix shows, and eventually abruptly went home right before finals. This person said, "Whether the details are correct or not, and whether the reporting was faulty, or the hazy memories of a traumatizing night got skewed ... the blame should never fall on the victim’s shoulders. Jackie is a victim, as are so many others, men and women, young and old."

Oyza. It is so hard to know what is fact and what is fiction in this story, and honestly, no matter how events actually played out, it makes me sad for my daughters. If this attack actually happened, then we have a system that's set up to nitpick every hazy detail of a young girl's attack. If it's true, then victim-blame is being taken to a whole other level.

And if the whole thing is made up? That's equally troubling. Because what happens to the victims who are actually hurt by traumatic events like sexual assault? People will roll their eyes and assume it's made up, like so many other cases.

I hope the truth is eventually found out in this case, and no matter what, I want to teach my daughters that coming forward immediately after an attack is not shameful in the least. In fact, it is brave, so very brave, and any DNA on their body could be integral in catching a perpetrator.

Have you been following this case? Do you think the truth will ever be known?

 

Image via Bob Mical/Flickr

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