A Rape On Campus

Sociological Imagination


A Rape on Campus exposed one of the best known human defense mechanisms: Denail. Denial is the first reaction of grief and acts as a buffer to the immediate shock from a unpleasant condition by refusing to admit the reality of a situation. Denial's main function is to protect oneself from coping with anxiety, pain and uncomfortableness. The UVA demonstrated denial by attempting to convince the victims of sexual assaults to not file/report charges, lack of punishment, denial of assault and the absence of empathy. When asked why UVA rape statistics were hard to find the Dean said "Because Nobody wants to send their daughter to a rape school".

Money Is Power

The UVA rape cases also portrayed that "money can buy you out of anything".

Parents of accused UVA students threatened the campus and the victims of the assaults with legal action. The risk of being sued resulted in UVA not addressing the case properly and having the suspects walk away free of charge. Attorney Wendy Murphy states "In these situations the one who gets the most protection is either a wealthy kid, a legacy kid or an athlete. The more privileged he is, the more likely the more likely the woman has to die before accountable".

The Effect of Social Status

This article also exhibited and proved true that "social status is everything."

When seeking help from her friends after the attack, Jackie's friends reminded her of what would happen to her reputation if she "cried rape". Despite her disordered appearance, Jackie's friends tried to persuade her not to report the incident. Jackie remembers her friends saying "is that really such a good idea?", "Her reputation will be shot for the next four years", and "she's gonna be the girl who cried 'rape', and we'll never be allowed in any frat party again." People began to isolate Jackie as if hanging out with a victim of rape would destroy their reputation as well.

Where is Drew?

One of the most disturbing parts of this article is the lack of information on "Drew". Jackie met Drew while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool. Drew was a Phi Kappa Psi brother and most importantly Jackie's date. All information pertaining "Drew" seems to have disappeared. Phi Kappa Psi stated that none of the members were lifeguarding in 2012 and that "Drew" wasn't even a member of their fraternity. Could this loss of evidence be a result of "money can buy you out of anything"?

UVA's Reaction

Another aggravating aspect of the article, is the silence of the UVA and their incorporation towards this matter. The UVA is now under federal investigation due to the massive quantity of rape cases and is in the top 12 most concerning campuses.

"UVA is one of only 12 schools under a sweeping investigation known as "compliance review": a proactive probe launched by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights itself, triggered by deep-rooted concerns". The UVA has been working towards this ever since Jackie's case came into spotlight. Why is the UVA still refusing to be interviewed if they are taking action about their rape problem?

Why do so many rape cases go unreported?

Many female sexual assault victims have contacted Jackie with their stories in hopes of guidance. Jackie estimates that 1 in 3 female UVA students are raped, not 1 in 5. If that is the case why aren't more of these women coming out with their stories? Is the fear of the UVA stopping them?


UVrApe- A term created by UVA women disgusted by the univeristy's culture of hidden sexual violence.

Wahoo- UVA Freshman nickname who can drink twice their own bodyweight.

Rugby Road- Category of UVA fight songs featuring explicit versus consisting of partying, hard liquor, drugs and defying women.