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  • Writer's pictureKatie Breen

The Aftershow: Episode 4

Sorry for the delay, peeps! I usually drop the Aftershow post a few days after releasing its accompanying episode (this one being Episode 4: Campus Sexual Assault and Title IX). But this time, I decided to go on vacation instead! It's been a long and busy summer, spent not only launching the podcast and holdin' down a day job, but also filming a docu-comedy reality tv show with MTV for said day job. While on vacay, I was invited to speak at Ignite Boulder on Thurs 9/8, so I've been busy prepping for that as well. Anywho - here it is, in slightly less comprehensive form because I'm busy AF:

Dear Colleague Letter

Tara mentioned the Department of Education's Dear Colleague Letter, written in 2011, which told colleges and universities:

"The U.S. Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) believe that providing all students with an educational environment free from discrimination is extremely important. The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime. […] In order to assist recipients, which include school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter "schools" or "recipients") in meeting these obligations, this letter explains that the requirements of Title IX pertaining to sexual harassment also cover sexual violence, and lays out the specific Title IX requirements applicable to sexual violence. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX. [Internal citations omitted.] "

You can read more about the letter here

You can learn more about Title IX, which is most widely known for its impact women's college athletics, here.


You can read more about gaslighting here, in a helpful explainer from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. TL;DR:

This term comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights (which were powered by gas) in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out. It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power (and we know that abuse is about power and control). Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.

Book and Documentary about Campus Sexual Assault and Title IX

Jon Krakauer, author of bestsellers-turned-movie-adaptations "Into the Wild" and "Into Thin Air," wrote Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town. Missoula is the location of the University of Montana, where the Department of Justice investigated 350 sexual assaults reported to Missoula police between January 2008 and 2012. The book is an excellent case study on the huge problem of campus sexual assault in the US, including how police and universities all too often mishandle the cases and victim-blame the survivors. "Krakauer’s devastating narrative of what happened in Missoula makes clear why rape is so prevalent on American campuses, and why rape victims are so reluctant to report

The Hunting Ground is a documentary that "follows undergraduate rape survivors pursuing both their education and justice, despite ongoing harassment and the devastating toll on them and their families." You may have seen Lady Gaga at the Oscars performing the song "Til It Happens to You," which she co-wrote for the film. 

"Since the film’s premiere at Sundance, it had been screened at the White House and hundreds of college campuses across the country. The documentary has inspired new laws in New York and California and changes in campus policies."

Joe Biden's Work on Campus Sexual Assault

Biden helped spearhead the creation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. In 2014, the task force launched the It’s On Us campaign. 

See more of Biden's remarks on college sexual assault here and here. Read here about his efforts throughout his career to end violence against women. Read here to learn about his efforts to use federal funding to clear rape kit backlogs.

Read his moving letter to the survivor of the Stanford sexual assault perpetrated by Brock Turner, the rapist that spent a mere three months in prison.

Read here about how Biden and Obama announced that they refuse to visit colleges and universities that are not taking sexual assault seriously.

And here is a tear-jerking photo of Vice President Joe Biden comforting a CU student and sexual assault survivor after seeing her crying following her speech about campus sexual assault.

The Neurobiology of Trauma

This is the video Tara mentioned about what happens to the brain following trauma, and thus why and how the lives of trauma victims are so detrimentally impacted. This, of course, is the case not only for victims of sexual assault, but those who have experienced any type of trauma, such as war, car accidents, robberies, house fires, seeing someone die, or any other acutely traumatic incident.


CU Students and Sexual Assault

Read here about the case I mentioned of men, one of whom is a student at the University of Colorado, using Title IX to fight the disciplinary actions they received from their universities following allegations of sexual assault. They believe that they did not receive due process in their sexual assault investigations and that their universities were biased against in the investigations because they were male.

And here is the case of the CU student who was convicted of rape and instead of going to prison, got two years of work release and probation. Gosh, male bias is so tough.


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