the solution

Hint: it starts with an apology

A 2015 survey of 647 American college presidents shows 32% agree campus sexual assault is a problem.

Only 6% agree it's a problem on their campus.


Many survivors of campus sexual violence feel ignored and sidelined by their schools. This ongoing harm is both invalidating and re-traumatizing. It is an extension of the original trauma they endured as well as the sense of institutional betrayal that too often accompanies this violence. Every missed opportunity to acknowledge and apologize to these students hurts survivors and the community at large. The good news is that every school has a powerful remedy at their disposal — the opportunity to apologize — and the power to make an immediate difference.

Every single school in the U.S. has a long way to go in terms of ensuring the safety of their students by continually reexamining and improving their efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence within their communities. Our schools have an even longer road ahead of them if they’re ever going to even begin to win back the trust of the students they’ve failed and whose trauma they’ve compounded with inadequate and sometimes overtly harmful responses. We’re not suggesting that these problems can be solved overnight.

However, there is one huge step that every college and university can take that would not only demonstrate their commitment to their students, but have a potentially tremendous impact on survivors’ healing and their administration’s culture: #JustSaySorry.

Do they care that survivors are carrying the weight of the harm they caused? Or were we just a number to them, despite what they claim? No matter the outcome of the campaign, the true colors of schools will be revealed.
— wagatwe wanjuki