The hashtag #RapedByMorehouse and #RapedAtSpelman began trending yesterday on social media after several students from Spelman College banded together to launch a silent protest on campus.
After a self-identified Spelman student anonymously took to Twitter with a detailed account of her encounter with a Morehouse student, several of her fellow students donned caution tape on their mouths to symbolize how rape victims at the college are often silenced.
They also carried signs bearing the words from her tweets in an effort to force Morehouse to acknowledge the alleged rape culture and make changes.
Many Morehouse men found the hashtag extremely disrespectful to the college as a whole and are calling for social media users to name the people accountable instead of the college as a whole.
More details below…
The AUC area caused a roar on social media today after AUC students joined together for a silent protest at Spelman to speak out agains the silencing of rape victims.
This all started after a self-identified Spelman student anonymously took to Twitter with her encounter with a Morehouse student. In a series of social media posts made under the name ‘@RapedatSpelman,’ a woman recounted an alleged sexual assault.
The two historically-black schools – one male and the other female – enjoy a close relationship and are located side-by-side in the Atlanta University Center and the victim’s account soon went viral.
Spelman President Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell provided a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the incident went viral, stating:
Our hearts go out to this student and I want to personally offer her our full support and assistance.
We are a family at Spelman and we will not tolerate any episode of sexual violence.
No student should ever have to suffer and endure the experience she has recounted on social media. Spelman is conducting a full and thorough review of these events.
Spelman did not address the woman’s specific allegations regarding the school’s actions and did not immediately say whether the alleged victim had filed a police report or other complaint. They also didn’t specify whether they knew who the alleged victim was. (The tweets did not say when the alleged assault took place.)
Cathy Clark Tyler, a spokeswoman for Morehouse, told that AJC that they had “no knowledge of any of this until today.”
“We are looking into it, but we are unaware of any police report.”
In the meantime, the posts have led to an outpouring of support from other students at schools in the Atlanta University Center, and protests of school administration.
Late last year, Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta students demanded that school administrators do more to ensure students’ safety. At the time the students sent administrators at the colleges a list of 13 demands for the schools to do more to “protect, serve and work for and with all students to keep us safe.”
While some of the issues were addressed, an updated “Open Letter on Responses to Sexual Assaults in the SpelHouse Community” (created March 2016), has been created which seeks additional support from AUC alumni as well as the general public on the serious issue (click HERE to read).