Trigger warning: this story has graphic content that can be sensitive to some people.
By Camelia Juarez
I am now a senior at Texas State and I fucking love this school, minus the fact we don’t have a great football team and have not been collecting accurate data on assault victims.
I am angry the courage of at least 40 people was not made public.
I am a sexual assault victim and was brave enough to speak up. Let me tell you how mortifying it was to become a statistic and have Texas State not recognize that pain.
The day after my ex-boyfriend tried to force himself on me, scratches were still covering my skin and alcohol on my breath. I walked from my dorm to the University Police Department in Nueces. The student receptionist was on her phone until I said, “I think I was assaulted or whatever and want to report it.”
After some time, I was placed in an interview room and told a female office how the perpetrator tore my underwear and pushed me against a wall. Tears were brimming in my eyes as I asked the officer if I was coming off as dramatic.
She believed my story.
I had to show the officers the location I was assaulted, which was by the UAC bus loop. I pointed out there were cameras where it happened. However, those cameras do not work and were worthless to my investigation.
Thanks, Texas State. Like so many other assault occurrences, I had nothing but my word.
The police took pictures of the scratches on my arms and confiscated my torn up underwear as evidence.
I had to write a police statement and sign my name next to the line of “Victim’s signature.”
I am a documented survivor. Or so I thought.
The whole process took months. Prosecutors called me and told me my ex-boyfriend’s lawyer was seeking a lesser punishment. His defense lawyer ended up serving as my criminal justice professor.
I know this narrative sounds awful, but it was worth the fight. My assailant was charged with assault causing bodily injury and family violence. He had to take anger management classes and serve one year of probation. If he ever abuses another family member or partner physically, he will receive a felony charge.
If he hurts another person, he will go to jail. I did that. I felt relieved hearing about a potential criminal record.
It took months of strength to speak up only to be silenced by the university. Was my trauma not enough for Texas State to give a fuck?
A good chunk of my friends are survivors and never reported their assault for various reasons. Maybe they felt as if the attack was not so bad or could have been worse.
If it hurt, honey, it hurt. We should not compare our pain.
Maybe survivors do not want to relive their assault through the reporting process or felt like no one would care about their experience. In a way, the university proved them right.
Please call the police to report an assault.
Camelia Juarez is a journalism senior