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Here's How I Was Raped

At a school that breeds goal-oriented individuals, it’s no surprise that this characteristic seeps into our hierarchical social scene where many seek and thrive on the self-validation of getting laid. Rather than hunting for the immediate gratification of sex on a Saturday night, here’s a thought: Get her number on Saturday, invite her over the next day to watch a movie, and see where it goes. We must curb the short-sighted perception that party nights are the only nights to have sex, and understand the fact that we are all equals in the same community with unique human desires and boundaries. It is imperative that we respect each other to make our school safe again.

Yes, it’s on Harvard to provide better education. Yet it’s also on individual students to be better people.

Primarily with the support of my loving sister, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, and Mental Health Services, I did accept what had happened. I did accept I was raped. Upon doing so, I felt even more pain. But then, I felt relief.

If you feel unsettled or wronged after any sexual interaction, you are absolutely entitled to your reaction. It’s your body. If you feel unsettled or wronged, or confused, or unsure—much like I felt the days following what was clearly a case of assault—reach out. It feels so, so, so much better to do so. Reach out to OSAPR, to MHS, your family, your blockmates, even to me. You don’t have to carry the weight of your experience alone, because you’re not alone. And no one should ever have to handle sexual assault alone.

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Viviana I. Maymi ’16 is a neurobiology concentrator in Mather House. If you have experienced sexual assault and wish to report the incident or make use of Harvard's sexual assault resources, please use the contact information below.

Harvard University Police Department, urgent line: (617) 495-1212 (24 hrs)
Office for Sexual and Gender-based Dispute Resolution (ODR): (617) 495-3786
Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR): (617) 495-9100 (24 hrs)
Counseling and Mental Health Services: (617) 495-5711 (24 hours)
Room 13: (617) 495-4969 (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
Sexual Harrassment/Assault Response and Education: http://share.harvard.edu

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