CSWS Director Michael Hames-Garcia writes a damn good annual report

Or maybe I should say damning, with regard to how UO’s top administrators handled the events of the past year. Including the countersuit against Jane Doe, the GTFF negotiations, and the James Fox firing. And it’s personally courageous. Read it all here. The RG has a summary, here.

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7 Responses to CSWS Director Michael Hames-Garcia writes a damn good annual report

  1. Hart says:

    Damn, that was hard to read. And brave as hell.

  2. Anas Clypeata says:

    Wow.

    It looks like their copy editor removed the “Go Ducks!” from the end of the article, however.

  3. Cheyney Ryan says:

    This is a powerful and brave article by one rape survivor, depressed and distressed at the U of O administration’s pathetic and duplicitous response to the basketball incident. We should reflect on how many other survivors of sexual assault in our community have had the same experiences as Michael, experiencing the same sense of betrayal, but have had to endure it in silence.

  4. Still in the rape closet says:

    My name is….nope, not going to go there. You know even reading Michael’s report was impossible for me when it first came out. I skimmed it, saw what was in it, and couldn’t face it. I too am a professor at UO. I was raped in high school by a religious youth leader who was a freshman in college. He belonged to a fraternity but lived in an apartment. He invited me over to get “high”. Unfortunately, the pot was laced with another drug and rendered me paralyzed. I remember saying no, but I couldn’t move. I was a virgin until that evening.

    Of course I blamed myself. That’s what you get for going over to some guy’s house to get loaded. I couldn’t tell anyone how it really happened so I treated it like a problem that got solved: not a virgin anymore. In fact, in those days, that wasn’t even considered rape. None of my friends would have called it that. There wasn’t even a term for date rape, which this could have been. Well, no, this was rape by a youth leader — someone in power and authority.

    That single act ruined my life. I went off to college, got good grades, and became a horrible drug addict and alcoholic. I had no self esteem, no confidence in myself or my intelligence. It was only when I was loaded that I could feel normal in my own skin. I did what a lot of women who are raped do — I continued to have casual and fairly unsafe sex. That’s what I thought I deserved I guess. I don’t know why we do that…you would think we would do the opposite but I guess rape affects different people differently.

    No one, not even I, knew why I was on my way to becoming a train wreck. I could talk about the event but without any feeling at all. Eventually, near death, I got clean and sober and started my life all over again…but still that rape followed me from one disastrous relationship to another. I had walls, and the walls had walls, and no one was getting inside those walls ever again.

    By sheer luck I eventually ended up in a great relationship. I have been clean and sober for many, many years now. But the effects of that single “incident” don’t go away. I felt uncomfortable cuddling or even being near my own partner. Sex in a loving relationship was difficult at best.

    Just about 2 or 3 years ago, I slowly started dealing with what happened to me. It has been a long hard road, and I have much distance yet to go. I still feel ashamed and guilty. You can tell me all you want that it isn’t my fault but I know every time someone questions whether another woman or man is raped that you might think I’m not telling the truth or that I shouldn’t have been smoking pot in high school. Or, maybe I shouldn’t have worn that outfit.

    Now I’ve read Michael’s piece and I’ve printed my own in my own way. I too felt betrayed by UO…by its administration, by its AAEO officer, by the head of student life, by the GC’s office, and by the President. I really wanted to quit working here, but of course if I leave I can’t help the women and men who need someone to believe them, to stand up for them, to just be there for them.

    And, my heroes in the Senate, in CSWS, and in the field of psychology (who have been studying this problem for decades) need me to stay and thank them and encourage them — even if I can’t do that in person.

    • Hart says:

      Thank you for telling your story. For what it’s worth, I believe you, and will still believe you if you ever feel safe to tell this story with your name attached.

  5. uomatters says:

    Thank you for posting this reminder of why this fight is so important.

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