opening up about sexual assault let alone any type of assault isn’t easy. i hope the bravery of these young women coming forward allows whoever it may concern to come forward and bring awareness as well.♥️ #ncat— Briah P. (@briahalecia) February 1, 2019
But these students are challenging viewpoints that have been ingrained in our society for a long time, and many people are furious with them for it. Guion has been attacked physically attacked three times on campus by people who were angry at her for naming the person who assaulted her. Gee has also received several threatening anonymous phone calls. Guion says that she experiences more support than she experiences hostility, but that the negative comments “cut.” “I’ve basically bared my soul to the internet, and it’s still not enough for some people,” Guion said. On Feb. 12, the university held a forum on sexual assault – they hold these forums once a semester, except for summer sessions – where students could receive information about sexual assault, learn more about the resources the school already offers, express their concerns, and discuss ways that the university could change. For Guion, that change can’t come through superficial means, but an entire culture shift. According to Guion, the way the campus engages with the issue of sexual assault is “Odd… everyone knows about it, but no one talks about it.” Guion also firmly believes that the university must launch sexual assault prevention programs that are more culturally responsive, customized for HBCU students. Simmons says this is something the university would consider. “As the nation’s largest HBCU, and one with a very long history of showing leadership around violence against women, we’re always looking for ways to deepen the impact and effectiveness of this work… certainly including it being culturally responsive and taking into account the different dynamics around HBCU culture. I don’t think that work is ever done,” Simmons said. After the sexual assault forum, many students left feeling invalidated, saying that their concerns were not addressed and that they still don’t feel safe on campus.
#NCAT men, if you’re a victim of sexual assault speak up. if you’re uneducated on sexual assault and rape, don’t understand what constitutes as consent, or any related topics…speak up.— Lena V. 💛 (@lenasantina) February 2, 2019
Prevention starts with education of the masses, not preparation from potential victims.
#NCAT23 #NCAT when you go to NSO & they show you the cute little consent tea video & the man tells you about Title IX, know that all of that is just business tactics. It looks good on paper but students are getting sexually assaulted & it gets swept under the rug. That’s the ☕️.— Kami the Great 🔆 (@itskamimichelle) February 13, 2019
for an administrator to refer to sexual abuse as “yuckity-yuck” and to continuously laugh as you sit in front of survivors, who are willingly sharing their stories, is disgusting and nothing is “illustrious” about it. #ncat— sunkissedballerina🌼 (@_LoveFaithlyyy) February 13, 2019
The dean blatantly lied and said all assaulters get suspended while mine is out walking and still assaulting women… and then said it was my fault???? Okay #ncat— Raina✨ (@raistacks) February 13, 2019
Administration doesn’t care period
This is the main reason why people don’t come out and report. Tonight showed us that y’all care more about what the policy says then the well-being of your students #ncat— Raina☔️ (@rainaadanielle) February 13, 2019
Guion strongly feels that NCAT needs programs that deliver a thorough and nuanced education about consent and “ties in history and culture around sexual assault in the Black community instead of the generic textbook ‘yes means yes, no means no,’… [that way is] not working, it’s never worked, but no one has tried to change it. Although the sexual assault crisis at NCAT seems widespread, the university is not alone. Campus sexual assault is a pervasive issue that arguably, few institutions of higher education have handled well. But Simmons says that NCAT is committed to continuing to “deepen their impact,” and support survivors. Simmons told ESSENCE that, “The issues that we’re talking about of course aren’t specific to NCAT. Campuses across the country are facing these dynamics. When we see and hear victims finding their voices and speaking up about what they’ve suffered and doing their part to try to shine a light on these issues, it’s a welcome thing. I think we all ought to be appreciative of folks who have suffered enough and are standing up and saying ‘Yes this happened to me and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.’”
We sat in a sexual assault forum for 3 hours tonight and all I got from it is if anything ever happens to me, I need to call my parents bc they’re the only ones that are gonna give a damn and take action. Period. #NCAT— KP💛 (@kiarabreona) February 13, 2019