Fighting rape culture is our business

Fighting rape culture is our business

When someone tells a rape victim that their attack “might have been consensual”, and that therefore their rapist shouldn’t be punished…

When someone says “gossip is a sin” as their reason for not believing the victims of a crime that God condemns as being as evil as murder…

When someone decides to declare that four months of advocacy work by dozens of concerned alumni — work that has resulted in many victims coming forward and learning to find their voice and realizing they aren’t alone — is somehow a “failure”…

When someone apparently knows the interior hearts of numerous college presidents and administrators and that they are “good people” who deserve a second chance, but rape survivor advocates are merely pursuing a leftist, feminist, Soros-funded agenda…

When all these things happen, while I myself, as a survivor of rape, am constantly reliving my own trauma and having my senses flooded with the trauma of others, and my efforts are routinely diminished, my character routinely disparaged…

…it’s hard not to find myself wondering if we should just pack up and go home.

But I don’t wonder that at all, actually. I know that the work we are doing is difficult and the road ahead is filled with obstacles, but helping one student or alumni survivor is worth it. It doesn’t matter what the ninety-nine think about us; we will go seek the one who needs help. Because despite the people who are publicly vocal about how we’re pushing a “political agenda” or that we have “all the attention we ever wanted,” there are so many more who reach out to me in private. Small voices. Quiet voices. Important voices. Powerful voices. Brave voices. 

Michael Raiger, former professor at Ave Maria University and father of 11 children, risked his career to do the right thing and, once ousted from his job, he filed a lawsuit to continue to pursue the right thing. And yet again, as this story comes out, the same chiding voices are heard: “gossip is a sin,” “the AMU administration are good people,” “you’re just trying to tear down a faithful Catholic school.”

Well, the exact details of the “scandalous acts” alleged in the lawsuit haven’t been revealed yet; although they will be in time, as the case unfurls. Regardless, the allegation is good information for the public to know, especially if the college is covering something up. Let the public be aware, let the details come out, and let the public make an informed decision about how they feel about AMU. We are eagerly looking forward to the pursuit of justice and truth, for the betterment of AMU and the safety of her student body.

The truth will not be hidden under a basket in order for the comfort levels of others to be maintained. As Catholics, we have a duty to pursue truth, not hurl accusations of gossip and sin when things get uncomfortable, or when it’s about people that we know, people that we believed to be “good Catholics.” I can point out almost two dozen Christendom College alumnae who can tell you what they experienced at the hands and whims of “good Catholics.” This is not a condemnation of Catholicism, but a criticism of those who claim to have intimate knowledge about the state of another person’s soul.

“But it’s none of our business!”

Actually, yes, yes it is.

God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you. (Rom. 2:24)

That is why it is our business, when a school claiming to be devout and Catholic is covering up “scandalous acts.” That is the business of the Body of Christ, us, the Church.

Have the alumni of Christendom College, the students of Franciscan University, and the professor from Ave Maria taken up a difficult cross? Yes, they have. And instead of being the guards striking at them on their journey, why don’t we instead follow the examples of Veronica and Simon? At least, that’s what I intend to do.