Columbia Rape Accuser Continues Protest Project

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Columbia University rape accuser Emma Sulkowicz, determined to have her accused rapist suspended from the Ivy league University maintained her vigil of protest, and carried a mattress the symbol of the weight and burden rape victims carry daily to the 2015 Class Day Ceremonies.

University officials had sent a memo indicating, in an attempt to block Sulkowicz from carrying the mattress, "graduates should not bring into the ceremonial area large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others in close, crowded spaces shared by thousands of people."

Sulkowicz again risked disciplinary action including the possibility she could be barred from the graduation proceedings and carried the mattress, one day before the graduation ceremonies, with the help of three other graduates who with her, walked, head high onto the stage  and received the degree that she worked so hard to earn.  She was met with applause from those attending the prestigious event. She declined the tradition of shaking hands with the University President.

"Mattress Performance: Carry that Weight," Sulkowicz's senior art project was approved by a Columbia University Professor for credit and stipulated Ms. Sulkowicz would carry the mattress until the school expelled her attacker. Other stipulations specified Sulkowicz could not ask for help but did not preclude her from accepting help when offered.

Paul Nungesser, who has identified himself as the accused rapist has yet to face disciplinary action by the University.

Nungesser sued Columbia University for failing to protect him from harassment and defamation due to Sulkowicz's decision to bring the details out into the open defying standard operating procedure.

Sulkowicz explains in a video to the Columbia Spectator, Columbia University's Newspaper, the sexual assault, occurred in her dorm bed. She further explains the psychological torture she endures as she is subject to, daily, the graphic horror of re-living the attack in her own bed. The only place of privacy was also destroyed.

The trauma Ms. Sulowicz explains is common especially for children raped, molested or assaulted in their own beds. The same mental anguish is present in any one who is unable to change the situation and must live in the surroundings where any attack occurred. Even if external changes are made, the psychological damage and post-traumatic stress remains long after. Those feelings can be expressed in many ways all of which are necessary for the victims healing process.

The law, which bends over backward to harbor perpetrators, would render a decision based not on the individual situation, but on years of previous cases, remembrances. How Ms. Sulkowicz's accounting of the events will hold up, her behavior becomes scrutinizes, dedication to prosecution of the perpetrator is not the "right" reaction under the law to gather the support of detectives, the opinion of which is trusted and believed by prosecutors.

Weak is better, strong will and determination almost negates the belief the woman is victimized. The ability to carry on, and clearly carrying the mattress or telling the world, is often viewed as compliance to the attack.

Rape violence is a weapon of war, it is meant to silence the life, it is meant to render one mute. Any person who is able to stand strong after an attack, through the eyes that make the decision to prosecute, is not victimized.

It is time, beyond time, for corporations, universities, prosecutors, societies to stop coddling the criminal and base decisions on fact and evidence, not simply remembrances of victories past, or actions present. Lives are at stake with each decision.

Judgment calls which negate the victims accounting and the evidence block justice and only support the perpetrator, giving them a license to rape again. stands with and advocates for justice for Emma and for Victim X the female behind the series of reported heinous sexual assaults whose perpetrators are known by the Hudson County, NJ Prosecutors. 


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