Dear Dr. REDACTED,
I don't know where to begin this letter.
Do I begin 19 years ago, when at the age of 17 I met a sexual predator on the campus of REDACTED College, that fateful weekend in October 1998 when I visited and made the decision to enroll? It was at a dance. "A Night in Old Vienna." He was #5 on my dance card. He was so polite. He praised me for being so intelligent for being so young.The word that my three different therapists used was "groomed." He started grooming me at that point.
Do I begin 18 years ago when the sexual predator became my rapist? When four weeks into the school year he put his hands up my shirt and brushed aside my protestations saying that "couples had rights over each others bodies." Or do I tell you how over Thanksgiving break he forced me to go down on him in the front seat of his car? I cried and I begged him to stop. I was choking. I couldn't breathe. I thought I was going to die. And when my tears did nothing to satisfy his frustrations he proceeded to finish himself off. I have no memory of what happened after his ejaculation hit the steering wheel. I don't remember what I did after he returned me to campus. I've recovered a lot of memories over my years of therapy, but that one has evaded my recall. Which is probably for the better.
Do I begin 14 years ago when a private investigator for the REDACTED Department came to REDACTED for a week and interviewed dozens and dozens of students, all who ultimately pointed the finger at me? I didn't want to be interviewed by this man. He asked difficult questions that I couldn't really answer but from my evasive responses he pieced together a picture of the type of person this man was.
Do I tell you how ludicrous I found the email that was forwarded to me suggesting that I share any stories of an old college professor if he bothered me? How I laughed when after 18 years the college was going to pretend to suddenly give a care about a professor when they did nothing but continually cover up and harbor a student who had committed numerous assaults on women before I arrived at REDACTED and continued the entire 4 years I was on campus.
My rapist held a party off campus one time. Everyone invited was supposed to wear lingerie. He wore a pink woman's nightie. At that party he attacked an under-aged female student. He locked her in a room and shoved her onto a bed and he climbed on top of her. She was saved when a male student broke down the door and punched him. That student was too scared to say anything at the time.
Word got around. I heard the cops were called on that party. The college knew about it. But REDACTED continued his education at the school his daddy helped found without any ramifications. The college allowed a sexual predator, a rapist, to walk the halls of that institution for 4 years without a single thing being done to halt his reign.
Want to know how I survived my assaults and the aftermath of 4 years of stalking? (Sometimes I would find him watching me shop at K-Mart in town). Because when I finally escaped his clutches after 4 months he couldn't let go that I had got away from him.
And I got into a co-dependent relationship which led me to being pregnant and abandoned when I was 20 weeks along. But it turned out that getting knocked up and left was the one thing that would save my life.
I've been contacted by two different journalists who want to interview me about how small colleges handle sexual assault on campus. One works for REDACTED. Another works for the REDACTED. Someone mentioned that I talk to REDACTED. I know she ruffles a lot of feathers.
Everyday a new story emerges about another man in power abusing his status. No one ever stopped REDACTED. No one ever brought him to justice.
I had hope that maybe the sexual assaults would stop once he left campus, but I get contacted by women who have left REDACTED in shame. Too afraid to speak about what happened to them. Too stigmatized.
It's time for this to stop. It ends now.
I won't got to the press. Yet.
I want to know what you and the board are going to do about the sexual assaults that occur to the females of REDACTED.
I want changes.
Nothing can take aware my nightmares that still haunt me. I will live with PTSD my entire life. Until the day I die, I will have to battle anxiety attacks that occur when a man of similar build, dark hair, and glasses walks by me.
I will be on medication the rest of my life. Medication that is so powerful that I am not allowed to get pregnant while I am on it. Medication that if I don't take, I have a 66% chance of committing suicide. And since I'm a Catholic who isn't on birth control, I'm not the greatest marriage material for most Catholic men.
REDACTED messed up my life but I chose not to let it destroy me. I've fought too hard. I'm too strong for that now.
But I never want another young, stupidly innocent girl that walks through the halls of that campus to ever go through what I went through.
Caroline Elizabeth Pollock