My Children WILL NOT be Going to Indiana University

I grew up in South Bend, Indiana. We lived within a few miles of Notre Dame. Ask me where I went to college? Go ahead. What? Notre Dame? Hell no! I went to Indiana University. I think about it now and wonder why on earth I didn’t go to our home-town school. Money? Maybe. However I think the main reason was that I wanted to get away from home. I wanted to feel “on my own” and experience a new place. After spending my freshman year at home in a community college so that I could save some money, I just couldn’t wait to leave. And leave I did.

IU was not the best thing that ever happened to me. There are a lot of idiots that hang out near colleges waiting for trouble. There are a lot of stupid girls away from home for the first time that think that they are invincible. There are a lot of folks in the college administration that want to make the general public think that nothing bad happens at their school.

I had gone jogging fairly late one evening, and was victim to some creep hanging out near the stadium. It was scary and horrible and humiliating and mind-numbing and a million other feelings that I can’t even begin to describe. There just are not words… I ended up at a friends dorm not far from where it happened. I didn’t know where else to go or what to do. I really don’t even remember why I went there – I just know that I did. After arguing with her for hours I finally agreed to go the hospital.

I have to tell those of you without this type of experience that the hospital exam is almost worse than the rape. I was terrified. I was hurt. I don’t know if I was in shock, but I know that I had experienced about all that I could handle. And I just wanted to be left alone. I wanted to hide and not speak to anyone – ever again. What I didn’t want was a room full of doctors, nurses and detectives asking me questions, taking blood, hair, and other miscellaneous samples for the next few hours. I also didn’t want to spend hours at the police station speaking to other detectives and making an official statement.

The days and weeks that followed were some of the hardest I have faced. Notes started showing up at my dorm threatening me. Flowers showed up with no name on them. The guy that I was sure had raped me showed up in the dorm lunch hall and began talking to me. The police finally had me guarded 24x7, but it did little to make me feel any better. One day in February he showed up at my dorm, pushed his way into my room and attacked me. I was thrown out the second story window, and since the police were within view of the window – was immediately taken to the hospital.

There were witnesses that saw the guy enter the dorm, push me out the window, and leave the dorm running. The Bloomington police had witnessed part of it. And yet, the campus police – didn’t believe any of it. Seriously. They claimed that it didn’t happen and that I ‘made it up” – and suggested that I get an attorney as they would be pressing charges – on me! WTF?

My mother hired an attorney who interviewed the Bloomington police, the hospital doctors that treated me, and the other witnesses. DNA evidence was collected from both me and my dorm room. I was interviewed and tested by a psychiatrist (tests revealing that I was normal kid who had suffered a traumatic event) And, after one face-to-face meeting with my lawyer and the school, all charges were dropped and the investigation handed over the Bloomington police with the school’s full cooperation.

The school wanted to protect their statistics so that parents and kids wouldn’t be scared off. They apparently convince kids to not report dangerous incidents so that their stats look good and they don’t lose enrollments because of the rapes or other bad events that happen. Apparently in the 70’s IU had a serious rape problem – and most of them occurred out by the stadium. Go figure. However since the school officials had started abusing victims, their stats had drastically improved… so, yeah.

In the end, I didn’t press charges against the school. I didn't even pursue finding my attacker. I left school and wanted to forget everything that happened. I pushed all of those events to the back of my memory and tried to never think of them again.

I was contacted by someone at IU a few years later. They were writing an article on how the school was trying to cook the rape numbers to make the school look better to prospects. I talked with them, but declined to include my name in the article. I didn’t want to drudge all of that up anymore.

All these years later, I wish that I had fought the school, that I had taken a stand, that I had made a difference. I wish that I had pursued my attacker and put him away. I wish that I had sued the school and contributed to making their mistakes public knowledge. I wish I had made the world a little bit better because of an experience I had. I wish I had made the best of a bad situation and let others learn from it. I wish, I wish, I wish.