I’m a survivor. Not of sexual assault, not of domestic abuse, but of attempts to destroy my future and every aspect of life I hold dear: false allegations of crime. If only I was a victim of something else, because maybe then the people who set their sights on me would not have been allowed to take their shot.
I want you to imagine struggling to prepare for midterms and hold down a job to pay for your increasing student loan debt. I want you to feel the pressure of finally getting your degree, and the joy of having friends nearby to help let go of your worries.
And then a letter comes from campus legal counsel. It says that you are under investigation for harassment. Maybe sexual assault. Maybe vandalism. Does it matter? You know you didn’t do it, but a sinking feeling in your chest says that’s not for you to decide.
Detectives and counselors interview you to assess if you are a threat. You don’t know who called the cops, let alone why they did it. But you are starting to realize that it’s because they don’t want you here. You are clearly frustrated. Scared. Angry. Clearly harboring guilty thoughts, according to some.
Then comes the hearing. There is a strong, thick air of judgement in the room.
It’s decided that you are to leave campus.
So you leave it all behind. Your progress, your career, and your dreams didn’t matter. All thanks to a lie from the ether.
You wish that someone would take a second look. Maybe someone actually was hurt, and you were mistaken for someone else. Maybe a dangerous criminal is still out there.
But does it matter? You are the accused, not the victim.
Victims need justice.
Because its supposed to be their story.
Please support Georgia HB 51 to establish due process in post-secondary institutions, and to make sure only criminals face justice. Contact your representative and encourage them to protect the falsely accused alongside the victims. Go here for an update on activist support for the bill.
Latest posts by Sage Gerard (see all)
- To the Opposition of House Bill 51 - February 17, 2017
- Support GA House Bill 51 to secure due process in universities - February 9, 2017
- Go Home, Gamer girl: Press release on unjust banishment from Calgary Expo - April 18, 2015