Like I referenced in my blog post last week, I am currently reading Missoula by Jon Krakauer. This is not only a book about rape on college campuses, but a book that covers the stories of the victims.
Many of the women who tell their stories in this book use pseudonyms to cover their identity, for their safety. However, some do not keep their names secret. This allows readers to do research on the people and their rape cases.
For example, the story of Cecilia Washburn (this is a pseudonym) and Jordan Johnson (this is not). Washburn and Johnson were not in a relationship, and had intended to just watch a movie together one night. They began to make out and touch, which was consensual. She removed his shirt, which was consensual, and she removed hers. However, once Johnson began to try and remove Washburn’s pants, she denied consent by repeating the phrase “no, not today.” Johnson allegedly began to rape Washburn by holding his arm against her chest and using force despite her refusal. The testimony asked why she didn’t yell for help, and she replied “I just shut down.” She left the room after the ordeal and sent a text message to her roommate saying “I think I might have just gotten raped.” She reported to the hospital where she received a rape kit to find vaginal trauma. Jordan Johnson was found guilty of rape by some juries, and innocent by others. After being expelled from the university, he was restored as star quarterback and student by the athletic association.
Another example is Allison Huguet’s, which may be the only story with a positive ending in the entire book at the rate we’re going. Huguet was allegedly sexually assaulted by childhood friend, Beau Donaldson. They’d known each other since they were 5, and considered each other brother and sister. Huguet was in college out of state when she came home, and her friend urged her to attend a party with many of her childhood friends. She agreed, and got drunk with all of her friends. When she tried to leave, her friends urged her to stay and sleep at the party house. She decided to accept the invitation to avoid driving drunk and fell asleep alone on the couch. Huguet woke up to Donaldson having sex with her from behind. She stayed still and pretended to sleep in fear that Donaldson would be violent if she moved, and grabbed her things and ran after her rapist left the room. Donaldson then chased her down the alleyway before turning around when Huguet was picked up by her mother. Huguet received a rape kit at the local hospital, where she was covered in bruises and had tissue breaks and torn lining in her vagina. After many trials, Donaldson was convicted of rape and is sentenced to 30 years. He will be eligible for parole in 2 and a half years.
As you can see, these stories may end well for the victim or may end in a way where they feel ignored or denied justice. Huguet’s is one of the only stories where she had “substantial evidence”, therefore her testimony wasn’t swept under the rug. The one thing you really have to keep in mind while reading this book, and even this blog post, is that these are the stories of real people on both ends.