Friday, August 10, 2007

Liz Seccuro and the Cav Daily

In 1984, during her freshman year at the University of Virginia, Liz Seccuro was drugged and raped at a fraternity party. She sought help from the University and from the hospital alike, yet no one would help her. When her attacker contacted her with a letter of confession and "apology" 22 years later, Seccuro contacted the police,

and was shocked to learn that, unlike what she and her parents had been told by University of Virginia officials in 1984, Charlottesville Police Department did indeed have jurisdiction over the fraternity house where she had been raped and that there is no statute of limitations on felony rape in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Seccuro also learned Beebe had been “tracking” her for nine years with the aid of the University of Virginia Alumni office.

Her attacker was tried, convicted, and given "10-year prison sentence with all but 18 months suspended." Yet, today news breaks that he is to be released after serving only six months. As much as we would like to believe that we live in a society that now has a clearer understanding of how heinous a crime rape truly is, Seccuro and other victims still face a hostile audience when they try to speak out against their attackers. The repugnance and tragedy of this is perhaps best understood by reading Seccuro's own words as she attempts to combat the misinformation published about her in a callous and idiotic piece published in the school news paper of her, and my, alma mater. Reading a sexual assault survivor having to try to teach basic compassion to a college-age girl attending the same university where she herself was attacked and failed to get assistance... it sickens me to realize just how far we still have to go.

4 comments:

La Pobre Habladora said...

Here are the other articles on this subject published in the Cav Daily - both are offensive. The first is heinous as the author tries to blame Seccuro for supposedly not making the "tough choice" to seek help from the police. Seccuro did, in fact, go to the University police, who failed to help her and told her that the Charlottesville police would have no jurisdiction. The other article is shameful in part because it's author, who is a Director of UVA's Women's Center,should know better. She claims that Seccuro did not receive help because the proper resources did not exist, and that the University did not mean Seccuro any harm. The University and the University Police were clearly aware that they were lying when they told Seccuro that she could not be helped by the city police and were covering up a violent crime.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Ooops! The first link in the above comment should take you to this article.

Casmall said...

I'm all to often appalled at the dim bulbs that seem to write editorials at the ol Cav daily. I know they're young students, but this is shameful. The University, Police, and the Hospital all bear part of the blame.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Looking at the other articles that the student from the Cav Daily has published, she considers herself to be a feminist. At a school with a fairly conservative student body, she has written about HPV, people's discomfort with the word vagina, and has criticized some professors for peddling sexist stereotypes. Part of what makes her article disturbing, in fact, is not that the author is an idiot (although she did get many of the facts of the case wrong, which was not only idiotic but also irresponsible), but that messages that the victims sexual assault are somehow to blame for their own suffering are so pervasive that they are parroted by otherwise liberal minded young women. One wonders what we are teaching these children and how to correct it.