Tag Archives: dialogue

Shattering Taboos: Let’s Talk about Sexual Assault

By Joanna Poppyfield, student

Trigger Warning: Contains details of sexual assault

I am a firm believer in the power of open, honest dialogue as a prerequisite to healing. Not just personal healing, but collective healing. At Stanford, we need to improve dialogue around sexual assault and rape if we want to truly beginning to address the fact that we have a real problem with sexual assault and rape on our campus and to heal the wounds that afflict far too many of us.

Just a few facts to put this all in perspective (all obtained from the Stanford Daily):

  • 4% of Stanford students reported having been raped, while 7% reported in a Health Promotion Services survey that they had been penetrated against their will
  • 15% of people reported having sex under pressure, according to the same survey
  • 9% of the general student body, 13% of straight women, 28% of gay/bi/lesbian identified students, 11% of gay men and 15% of students who did not select a gender option have experienced attempted, non-consensual penetration, again according to the HPS survey.
  • Furthermore, over 50% of students surveyed reported being forcibly fondling, unwantedly touched or kissed, again according to the survey through HPS.
  • According to Angela Exson, Assistant Dean of the Office of Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse, “the average offender will commit [sexual] crimes seven times before any action is taken against them.”
  • The worst statistic though, in my opinion, is that 28% of victims had no one to talk to about their experiences. Continue reading
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Listening, Healing

by Jovel Queirolo, ’14

Before last Wednesday, I believed that interfaith dialogue could go one of two ways. It was either a time spent sharing praise and false curiosity in an attempt to avoid more charged discussion topics, or the conversation would quickly dissolve into a vicious screaming match.

My weekly meetings as part of the Fellowship for Religious Encounter (FRE) only reinforced this perspective. I would enjoy a dinner generously provided by our mentors and the Office for Religious Life, then spend the next hour disagreeing, agreeing, arguing, and refuting. I quickly attached myself to members of the collective who shared views similar to my own and distanced myself from those whose politics I disagreed with.

But last Wednesday, we broke through the layers of awkward silence and fiery debate. We finally listened to each other. Continue reading

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