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YWCA response to sexual assault op-ed

We strive to serve each caller, whether male, female, transgender, non-identifying gender, adult, or child, with the utmost respect, understanding, and sensitivity. We know that no one is immune from sexual assault. We provide our volunteer advocates with extensive training on how to deal with a myriad of situations including working with underserved populations.

Rethinking gender and sexual assault policy: My story

While Stanford has a concrete definition of sexual assault, the SARA Office affirmed that before even consulting legal definitions, it is first up to the survivor to define what happened based on how they feel. I personally do not want to press charges; we both strayed blindly into grey areas that night. Luckily, I came out the other side without any traumatic emotional scarring or depression. However, not everyone may be so lucky if put in this situation. Never once have I called this woman my “attacker” or “assailant” because I didn’t emotionally respond as though it were an attack or an assault. To me, she’s just a student that made a mistake. However, she does deserve to know that what she did is defined as sexual assault. What she does not deserve is expulsion. We need to understand that we can’t solve these grey issues with black and white statements and punishments.