Why we believed Jackie’s rape story

Why we believed Jackie’s rape story

[Ed. – The author is an assistant managing editor at The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s student newspaper.]

It was a near-unanimous reaction: shock, but not surprise. Disgust, but not doubt. Those were the feelings that characterized the endless conversations I had as a University of Virginia student following the Nov. 19 release of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article, “A Rape on Campus,” in Rolling Stone.

“There was this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach in [reading] the whole thing,” fourth-year student Anna Burke told me. “I have never been through something like that myself, but it was a refrain I had heard before. There was a sort of familiar sadness to it.”

There was some anger at what many perceived as mischaracterizations of student life, student standards of integrity and the University administration. But in speaking to students across the grounds — men and women, Greek and non-Greek, first and fourth years — not one sought to challenge the validity of then-first-year student Jackie’s rape, either as a whole or in part.

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