Photo: Bull & Bear

The Truth about Sexual Assault in St Andrews

Sophia Rosenblatt shares her, and others’, personal experiences with the night in St Andrews.

It was hard to stomach the original article.

Genuinely, it was hard to get through it without feeling like I had wrap my arms around my body, as I realised St Andrews was not actually a place that would fight for my rights. Everything from the use of “comparable” to describe women’s sexual assault around the world, to “grossly inappropriate” to describe a peaceful march, to the big, glaring “anonymous” that graced the article’s heading, so the author could state their strong, controversial opinion, but neatly skip away from any backlash that would inevitably ensue. Left discarded in their wake is fear.

Reclaim the Night was my first glimpse at what St Andrews has the potential to be.

We marched, huddled in the cold, with signs rubbing red paint off on our jackets, chanting slogans as we did. Maybe it was a little awkward at first. It’s not an easy thing to walk the streets of St Andrews, a place so secure in its quiet and tradition, and speak your beliefs unabashedly.

Sometimes the chants just seemed to echo back at us, but sure as hell am I glad I had the chance to say them out loud.

Photo: Feminist Society
Photo: Feminist Society

Because sexual assault at St Andrews is not something that can be scoffed at with a sarcastic “Really?” It’s not something that can be invalidated because women in Riyadh have it worse (although the idea of sexual assault being ranked on a scale is itself terrifying), and we should count ourselves lucky that we’re only assaulted “sometimes.”  It’s not something that can be dismissed because men in tuxedo jackets and swim trunks don’t fit stereotypes of a rapist.

Little known fact: rapists don’t come in one form, one shape, one colour. They don’t all haunt “rape alley” behind the Union (although there’s a reason we call it that). What’s really terrifying about sexual assault is that you don’t know where it can come from or when it can happen. And those girls that have a “fear of violence and sexual abuse on a daily basis”? They’re not so far away. They’re the women marching in Reclaim the Night. They’re women who didn’t march at all. They don’t even have to just be women. They’re all of us, everyday, period.

One of the marchers told me: “Because [my rape] happened in St Andrews, it meant a lot to have it here. Last year, what happened to me, he wasn’t a student, but he was a local.”

“We were hanging out in my bedroom, but we had hung out so many times before that I felt okay around him,” she said, recounting her story. “We were doing stuff before and I told him I didn’t want to anymore, so we stopped, and then I fell asleep. And then I woke up with him back on top of me… I was naked again, and then… he was sticking it in, and I still have an open case about it, no one’s telling me anything.”

Not only have St. Andrews police failed to help her (she had called them again the morning that I talked to her, and by the evening, they had still not returned her call), but student services did not pass this information through to her other counsellors, making her repeat the story again.

Photo: Headstuff
Photo: Headstuff

But sexual assault isn’t just rape.

Another girl told me how the guys behind her in the tightly packed line outside the Vic, “started putting their arms around my waist and started groping my breasts.”

A female photographer, who frequently attends events in St Andrews, said that just last Friday, a group of guys grabbed her and started “motorboating” her after she took their picture, and left her with her “shirt [] almost off and her bra [] out.” Another female photographer talked about how someone “put his hands underneath my shirt and lifted his hands all the way up my back and was like, ‘Hey can you take my photo?'”

Two years ago, postgrad Pasquale Galianni was jailed for his attempted rape of a woman in between the Sports Centre and David Russell apartments, as well as for an assault of another woman earlier on in the year. A Kirkcaldy man was arrested for groping 15 year-old Madras girls in the street. Between 2012-2015, 28 reports of sexual misconduct have been filed with the University, and between 2009-13 there were 22.

And what’s really terrifying? Most sexual assault that women experience isn’t reported, or talked about. It’s just what expected, without it having to be a “wild night out.”

Reclaim the Night was founded on the idea that it “gives women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event.” It’s a movement that’s travelled from Germany to the UK to the US, all focused on the same issue of ending gender-based violence. The idea that having a march in St Andrews is somehow out of “context” is not only entirely false, but grossly inappropriate.

“It’s rather naïve to think that sexual violence isn’t a problem in St Andrews,” said Jo Boon, President of the Feminist Society and organiser of the 2016 march, when commenting on the original article, “I was raped here around 18 months ago and, since speaking about it, have had a frightening number of women confide similar experiences. Equally, [the march] is not a new event. It was run by Kate O’Sullivan last year, and it was also run for many years before that.”

To have validity as a critic, you cannot base an argument on assumptions and vague statements. You cannot brush off a political movement without putting in the effort to understand it, or understand what It represents to the people who participate in it. Substantial criticism comes from knowledge. And the most disappointing part of this article was the wilful resistance to that type of merit.

The night is not yet ours and articles like the original one just serve to make that even more obvious. I wish we could run away from this, as the author believes we have. I wish there was a way where we could run to the edge of Scotland, and somehow not still be affected by it. But it’s funny, because no matter how far away we try to run, inequality finds a way to step on our heels.

So we march.

Comments

comments

166 thoughts on “The Truth about Sexual Assault in St Andrews

  1. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange techniques with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.|

  2. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

  3. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

  4. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

  5. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

  6. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

  7. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

  8. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

  9. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

  10. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

  11. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

  12. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

  13. By way of introduction, I am Mark Schaefer, and I represent Nutritional Products International. We serve both international and domestic manufacturers who are seeking to gain more distribution within the United States. Your brand recently caught my attention, so I am contacting you today to discuss the possibility of expanding your national distribution reach.We provide expertise in all areas of distribution, and our offerings include the following: Turnkey/One-stop solution, Active accounts with major U.S. distributors and retailers, Our executive team held executive positions with Walmart and Amazon, Our proven sales force has public relations, branding, and marketing all under one roof, We focus on both new and existing product lines, Warehousing and logistics. Our company has a proven history of initiating accounts and placing orders with major distribution outlets. Our history allows us to have intimate and unique relationships with key buyers across the United States, thus giving your brand a fast track to market in a professional manner. Please contact me directly so that we can discuss your brand further. Kind Regards, Mark Schaefer, [email protected], VP of Business Development, Nutritional Products International, 101 Plaza Real S, Ste #224, Boca Raton, FL 33432, Office: 561-544-0719

  14. Does anyone know what happened to Dime Piece LA celebrity streetwear brand? I am unable to proceed to the checkout on Dimepiecela site. I’ve read in Women’s Health Mag that they were bought out by a UK hedge fund in excess of $50m. I have just bought the LA OG Heavy Blend Crewneck Sweatshirt from Amazon and absolutely love it xox

  15. By way of introduction, I am Mark Schaefer, and I represent Nutritional Products International. We serve both international and domestic manufacturers who are seeking to gain more distribution within the United States. Your brand recently caught my attention, so I am contacting you today to discuss the possibility of expanding your national distribution reach.We provide expertise in all areas of distribution, and our offerings include the following: Turnkey/One-stop solution, Active accounts with major U.S. distributors and retailers, Our executive team held executive positions with Walmart and Amazon, Our proven sales force has public relations, branding, and marketing all under one roof, We focus on both new and existing product lines, Warehousing and logistics. Our company has a proven history of initiating accounts and placing orders with major distribution outlets. Our history allows us to have intimate and unique relationships with key buyers across the United States, thus giving your brand a fast track to market in a professional manner. Please contact me directly so that we can discuss your brand further. Kind Regards, Mark Schaefer, [email protected], VP of Business Development, Nutritional Products International, 101 Plaza Real S, Ste #224, Boca Raton, FL 33432, Office: 561-544-0719

  16. I oversee a vape shop web directory and we have had a posting from a vape store in the USA that likewise markets CBD products. A Calendar month later on, PayPal has contacted use to say that our account has been restricted and have requested us to take away PayPal as a payment solution from our vape shop directory. We do not offer CBD items like CBD oil. We solely provide advertising and marketing professional services to CBD companies. I have had a look at Holland & Barrett– the UK’s Top Health and wellness Retailer and if you take a close peek, you will witness that they offer a relatively considerable range of CBD goods, specifically CBD oil and they also happen to take PayPal as a settlement method. It emerges that PayPal is applying contradictory standards to different companies. As a result of this restriction, I can no longer accept PayPal on my CBD-related online site. This has restricted my payment possibilities and now, I am seriously reliant on Cryptocurrency payments and straightforward bank transfers. I have gotten in touch with a lawyer from a Magic Circle law practice in London and they stated that what PayPal is undertaking is definitely illegal and inequitable as it ought to be applying a systematic standard to all firms. I am yet to check with an additional lawyer from a US law practice in London to see what PayPal’s legal position is in the United States. In the meantime, I would be very appreciative if anybody here at targetdomain could provide me with alternative payment processors/merchants that deal with CBD firms.

  17. By way of introduction, I am Mark Schaefer, and I represent Nutritional Products International. We serve both international and domestic manufacturers who are seeking to gain more distribution within the United States. Your brand recently caught my attention, so I am contacting you today to discuss the possibility of expanding your national distribution reach.We provide expertise in all areas of distribution, and our offerings include the following: Turnkey/One-stop solution, Active accounts with major U.S. distributors and retailers, Our executive team held executive positions with Walmart and Amazon, Our proven sales force has public relations, branding, and marketing all under one roof, We focus on both new and existing product lines, Warehousing and logistics. Our company has a proven history of initiating accounts and placing orders with major distribution outlets. Our history allows us to have intimate and unique relationships with key buyers across the United States, thus giving your brand a fast track to market in a professional manner. Please contact me directly so that we can discuss your brand further. Kind Regards, Mark Schaefer, [email protected], VP of Business Development, Nutritional Products International, 101 Plaza Real S, Ste #224, Boca Raton, FL 33432, Office: 561-544-0719

  18. I oversee a vape store directory and we have had a posting from a vape shop in the USA that also advertises CBD goods. A Month later, PayPal has written to use to claim that our account has been limited and have requested us to take away PayPal as a payment solution from our vape shop website directory. We do not offer CBD products such as CBD oil. We merely offer web marketing services to CBD companies. I have looked into Holland & Barrett– the UK’s Leading Health and wellness Retailer and if you take a good peek, you will witness that they offer a surprisingly comprehensive series of CBD products, primarily CBD oil and they also happen to accept PayPal as a settlement method. It seems that PayPal is administering contradictory standards to different companies. As a result of this restriction, I can no longer take PayPal on my CBD-related site. This has restrained my payment choices and right now, I am greatly contingent on Cryptocurrency payments and direct bank transfers. I have gotten in touch with a lawyer from a Magic Circle law practice in London and they said that what PayPal is doing is totally not legal and inequitable as it should be applying a consistent standard to all companies. I am yet to get in touch with another lawyer from a US law practice in London to see what PayPal’s legal position is in the USA. Meanwhile, I would be very appreciative if anybody here at targetdomain could offer me with substitute payment processors/merchants that deal with CBD firms.

  19. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  20. บาคาร่าเกมไพ่ยอดฮิตติดใจกันทั่วบ้านทั่วเมืองเนื่องจากว่าเป็นเกมไพ่ที่เล่นง่ายจบเกมไว จึงทำให้ได้เงินไว UFABET ได้เก็บรวบรวมเกมบาคาร่าออนไลน์มาไว้แบบครบทุกค่ายให้ท่านได้เลือกเล่นอย่างจุใจ รองรับด้วยระบบฝากถอนอัตโนมัติไม่ยุ่งยากอีกอีกต่อไปแล้วครับผม

  21. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  22. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the
    same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  23. Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  24. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  25. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a
    comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

  26. I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again! soyos

  27. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my
    own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

  28. Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to
    browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge
    you present here and can’t wait to take a look
    when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast
    your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just
    3G .. Anyways, very good site!

  29. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this matter to be really something which I think
    I would never understand. It seems too complex and
    extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang
    of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Stand