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December 06, 2017

Penn students share stories of rape, assault in literary magazine

Sexual Assaults Survivors
Carroll - University of Pennsylvania Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

University of Pennsylvania.

Forced kisses at frat parties. A cat caller with a knife on Spruce Street. Being dragged to a dugout.

Students at the University of Pennsylvania are sharing these and other stories of rape and sexual assault in the latest edition of 34th Street, the school’s student-run arts and culture magazine.

The collection, titled “End the Silence: Sexual Assault Survivors at Penn Share Their Stories,” is comprised of prose narratives and poems describing – often in painful detail – authors’ experiences with sexual assault.

“These are brutal, unflinching, truly horrific testimonies – ones that were difficult to read and compile into a magazine, and perhaps more difficult as an editor to share with the Penn community,” writes 34th Street’s editor-in-chief, Orly Greenberg.

“But we would be doing a disservice to all victims – and, in fact, everyone – by not publishing these stories. They’re ugly and hard but they’re true. They’re real. To pretend that assault doesn’t exist, or that it doesn’t exist at Penn, is to be part of the problem.”

The collection has a total 19 stories, with some authors choosing to print their names but many remaining anonymous.

In the wake of sexual assault allegations against many prominent public figures, more attention to assault prevention on college campuses has received renewed focus – and scrutiny. Earlier this year the Daily Pennsylvanian reported only five of Penn’s 27 fraternities completed sexual assault prevention education required by the Interfraternity Council.

The Pennsylvanian also has reported on a Princeton professor found guilty of sexual harassment but has retained his job since.

Check out the full collection of stories in 34th Street here.