To continue where I left off on the story of my not-so-helpful interactions with Dean J:
So, as I said, I was called in with eighteen hours left til I was out of town for a month, and here was Dean J, finally taking the situation seriously following the advent of exactly what I fucking told him was going to happen if he didn’t take things seriously in the first place. He was playing the Bad Cop, he was smacking his fist on the table for emphasis and raising his voice and Wanting To Make Sure That I Knew That The College Took This Seriously now that another girl had also been raped.
The Other Girl is so courageous for having come forward. I owe her so much for the fact that, mere weeks after she experienced something truly horrific (sometimes, the only thing that keeps me hating my rapist is the description of what he did to her), she was able to find it in her to tell someone. She did the exact right thing. I only wish I had, too.
I could have protected her so much better than I did.
But you know what? Dean J could have, too. And he fell short, too. And he fell short in a heinous way, as an administrator of an institution charged with the safety and well-being of its students.
Back to the room with the backwards clock on the wall and the glass-and-metal coffee table and a brass placard with “DEAN J” in all capitals on the desk. He told me he was going to call my rapist Tonight to tell him that an investigation was on.
That made my blood boil.
He would not wait 24 hours until the Other Girl was safely out of town. He would not grant someone who came forward about something so completely crushing the basic privilege of being kept securely away from someone who carried out an act of violence against her – an act of violence that Dean J only cared about now that it had happened, and previously had expressed no real interest in preventing.
It took three of us – myself, an Area Director, and the head of the Health and Wellness Center, to dissuade him from making that call the second we walked out the door. Dean J asked if there was anything he could do for me. He asked me with big, liquid, expressionless eyes, like the cows back home would look at me over a barbed-wire fence. His voice was formal, detached.
I told him to take care of the Other Girl. I told him I would be fine. I told him I didn’t want help.
Of course, the Area Director knew better. He waited with me after, in an empty conference room, while I cried because I had done everything and nothing right.
Flash forward to the day that the investigators finished their case. I read the report. I had mixed feelings (that’s a subject for another time), but they had made something happen. My Rapist – Our Rapist – was expelled. It was so much more than many rape victims receive. I understand this. I want this to be enough. It was not. That is also a subject for another time.
Flash forward another week, to the day when My Rapist was required to submit his own statement regarding the investigation and findings.
Ten more days.
Three emails sent to Dean J, never answered.
Finally, I get an email. He has heard nothing from My Rapist.
I ask for information about going to the police, like he said when he banged his ever-so-wise executive hand on the coffee table for emphasis.
Another two weeks.
He says he’ll get someone else to send me the information.
Another two months.
That information is not coming. And I am done with these official channels. I am done with people caring exactly as long as they need to in order to avoid a lawsuit, then dropping everything and walking away. I am done with creaky leather chairs made out of dead cow and sympathetic half-nods from bespectacled faces, I am done with neatly groomed men in suits and ties telling me that they know how I must feel and that they take this seriously – seriously for exactly as long as I am in their office.
Fuck you, Dean J. Fuck you.