A Twitter user claiming to be a Spelman College freshman has spoken out publicly using the account @RapedatSpelman, saying she was gang-raped by four Morehouse College students. She also accuses the college of trying to silence her and not providing proper support.
Spelman College, an all-women’s school, and Morehouse College, an all-male school, are both based in Atlanta and are private, historically black colleges. About 2,200 students attend each college.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Says She Was Raped by the 4 Men During a Party
The @RapedatSpelman account posted the series of tweets on May 2 and May 3.
She described her gang rape allegations:
This is my freshmen year at Spelman and my last year because I decided to leave after what happened to me. went to a party with my friends there were alot of people there and it was really fun so we decided to drink with the upperclassmen. I was drunk but that doesn’t mean I forgot about what happened. I went to the bathroom upstairs to throw up and when I opened the door I was surrounded by 4 Morehouse students who took me to another room and took turns raping me. I was in shock about what had happened. After it happened I went to find my friends who had already left the party so I had to walk back to campus by myself. When I got there I went to public safety to do a report and I was sent to the hospital for a rape kit.
You can read see all the tweets at the link below:
2. She Claims the Dean & Public Safety Asked Her What She Was Wearing & Why She Was Drinking Underage
@RapedatSpelman also accused Spelman College of failing to properly react to her rape claims. In her series of tweets she said:
It took Spelman a month to get back to me about my case. When I got to the meeting with the Dean and Public Safety they asked me what was I wearing, why did I seperate from my friends, & why was I drinking under age. The Dean also said that Spelman & Morehouse are brother & sister so I should give them a pass. I never felt so worthless in my life. I got so depressed that I wanted to take my own life and I started to self-harm. I don’t want to be at a school that does not make me feel safe and wants to silence me. So I would like to say goodbye to Spelman and to the amazing people I’ve met along the way. Spelman has taught me to be a free thinking woman and also to be a woman who has to keep her mouths closed to protect her “brothers”. You can NEVER say Morehouse has their sisters back if they are just going to force her on it.
After the tweets spread around campus, the account tweeted, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you ???? Some people will never understand until it happens to them or someone they love.”
You can read see all the tweets at the link below:
3. Spelman & Morehouse Are Both Investigating the Gang Rape Claims
Spelman and Morehouse colleges are both investigating the claims made on the Twitter account.
“Yesterday, many of you read on social media a disturbing account of sexual violence against a Spelman woman. I know that members of our Spelman community join me in expressing heartbreak and outrage over the incidents and experiences recounted on Twitter,” Spelma President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a message on the school’s website. “Because the Twitter account is anonymous, I tweeted an invitation to @RapedAtSpelman to reach out to me personally so I, and the College, can provide full assistance and support. We continue to follow leads to identify the victim to offer our help and services.”
She said the college has been building a larger Title IX team, put together a faculty advisory committee and student commission on sexual violence, started a review of the college’s policies, practices and training materials related to sexual violence and has made it clear that blaming the victim is unacceptable:
My first priority as Spelman’s president is to continue ensuring that Spelman and the Atlanta University Center offer a safe, supportive environment for all students. Please know that we are working together to foster a culture and climate that assure fair, swift and consistent adjudication of reported cases of sexual violence.
I encourage and welcome your help and voices in this cause. Together, we can make a difference, as many of you did yesterday in your peaceful campus demonstrations at Spelman and Morehouse. I urge you to continue to express your opposition to sexual violence and I stand with you in your efforts to call attention to areas that need to be addressed and improved.
Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. said in a statement, “I am deeply troubled by the recent allegations that have been anonymously stated on Twitter alleging that a Spelman student was assaulted by four unidentified Morehouse students. At Morehouse, we take seriously all allegations of sexual assault and we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that our students and students throughout the Atlanta University Center are encouraged to report any such incidents. Both our Office of Campus Safety and the Title IX Office have been activated to fully investigate the allegations with the limited information that we have.”
Wilson added, “The information anonymously shared on Twitter was our very first indication of this incident. Now that we are aware of these allegations, we are determined to pursue the investigation to the fullest extent possible.”
You can read his full statement here.
4. Police Say They Are Not Investigating Because No Victim Has Come Forward
The Atlanta Police Department told NBC News it does not have “any knowledge” about the incident and is not currently investigating the case because no victim has come forward.
Morehouse College and Spelman College both said their public safety offices are investigating.
5. A ‘Silent Protest’ Was Held to Support @RapedatSpelman
A silent protest was held on the Spelman College campus Tuesday night to support the @RapedatSpelman account, according to Fox 5.
On Thursday, the @RapedatSpelman account posted, “This issue is bigger than me, its about ALL college campus not taking sexual assault seriously like they claim they do.”