Challenging Washington Post columnist George Will’s recent claim that victimhood in college is a “coveted status,” Amanda Ruggeri ’07 went public with the story of her rape for the first time.
In a personal essay on The Cut, New York Magazine’s fashion blog, Ruggeri recounted what remembers from the night of her rape. She had been drugged that night, she writes, though her assailant, a friend of a friend, was likely not the druggist. It took a few days and some conversations with friends for her to realize she was raped.
Still, in order to avoid gossip and finger-pointing, Ruggeri decided not to file any official complaint. Later on, she writes that she would go on to meet many other friends, peers and students who had been sexually assaulted but never reported it.
“As a result, my sexual assault did not make it into the rape statistics for 2005,” she wrote. “It wasn’t counted; it didn’t count. And I did not make it count.”
Ruggeri’s essay is just one piece of the backlash that Will’s column has received. The Blaze reports that the wife of a White House Operative demanded that Will be fired after reading his column. Fellow Washington Post writer Alyssa Rosenberg openly disagreed with her colleague, writing that “[i]t is not clear what Will believes to be the benefits that would make being a sexual assault survivor a “‘coveted status.'”
On the Huffington Post, Ariel Koren, senior class president at the University of Pennsylvania, addresses Will’s claims that sexual assault victims are privileged by detailing the various symptoms and challenges she has faced in the aftermath of her sexual assault.
“I have survived because I have juggled my rigorous academic life with very, very hard work on my recovery.” Koren wrote. “The truth is that being raped is not a privilege, but a horror.”
Ruggeri, who graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in history, is a freelance journalist and has written for The New York Times, BBC, The Guardian and many other publications.