After broadcasting their first few #JustSaySorry burnings on Facebook—including one in which Willingham set fire to the Harvard Law School acceptance letter that she had thought she would want to hold onto forever—Wanjuki and Willingham won a grant from the Awesome Foundation, an organization that gives out micro-grants, to produce a professional video for the project...
Willingham says that how men define their masculinity will inevitably shape how they talk about women...
“There’s still this misconception that there’s something to be gained by being a victim of sexual assault. … Rehashing a painful moment publicly is not fun, especially when you know that so many people who hear that story are cultured to question you.”
As Kamilah Willingham, a sexual assault survivor and SB813 advocate, told Broadly, the bill's passage gave her "renewed hope in legislative reform, and the idea that legislative reform will eventually create a justice system that is safe for survivors."
Willingham worked at the California Women's Law Center when the first draft of SB 813 was submitted to legislators. "It was pretty exciting to be a part of this process," she says, "especially because it was something that so many people thought would never happen."
"I think we're in a moment where the world is finally valuing and paying attention to the voices and experiences of survivors of sexual assault."
“This is exactly what we’re talking about when we say that university administrations model a culture of denial rather than one of accountability,” Willingham said...
“I think it’s a terrible idea for him to go on campus educating about rape and rape culture,” said Kamilah Willingham, an activist who appeared in “The Hunting Ground,” the campus rape documentary. “He still doesn’t get it. He’s trying to have it both ways.”
Harvard Law School student and sexual assault survivor Kamilah Willingham said that like Turner’s victim, she was raped while unconscious. Unlike Turner’s victim, who remained incapacitated until the next morning, she woke up in the middle of her assault.
“I reported it even though I know how low conviction and prosecution rates are,” she said. “I knew that in order to have a shot at justice, you have to prove not only what happened to you but that you weren’t asking for it. … I thought that my assailant would be held accountable. I was wrong.”
Kamilah Willingham, who reported that she was sexually assaulted while a student at Harvard Law School, called Persky part of the problem. “Because even if the police believe you, even if the prosecutors believe you, even if against all odds the jurors believe you, at the end of the day, that can all be undermined,” she said...
“Poor Brock, he has to carry the stigma of being known as a rapist,” she said sarcastically. “People like his victim and people like me have to live with that for the rest of our lives too. We live with the nightmares, we live with the flashbacks… This wasn’t a youthful mistake, it’s not an inevitability of co-ed party culture.”
Some nights, Kamilah Willingham would lie awake, unable to fall asleep until the sun came up and she felt safe again. The 30-year-old Los Angeles activist says the trauma of surviving sexual assault affected her physical and mental wellbeing, and although it’s been five years, there are still days when she struggles to get out of bed.
In recent months, however, she has made a concerted effort to be more open about her emotional scars, in large part because she was so moved by the viral impact statement of the sexual assault victim at Stanford University.
The four young women, whose campus sexual assaults were detailed in the documentary 'The Hunting Ground,' said the song will help other victims feel less "isolated or alone."
Willingham, whose story was recently chronicled in the documentary The Hunting Ground, burned her Harvard Law School admissions letter Tuesday. But first, she decided to torch a pair of Harvard sweatpants. In a piece for the feminist magazine The Establishment, she said that Wanjuki’s video made her wish she’d kept more Harvard Law school attire so she could burn it now.
Now, some potential ticket buyers have already sworn off his movie months before its October debut in theaters. “You collaborated on a rape 17 years ago, and now you pull him in to make this film together,” says Kamilah Willingham, 30, one of the campus-assault survivors featured in the documentary “The Hunting Ground.” “I’m trying to picture a way this could turn out in which the film can still be celebrated. I can’t.”
“Some want to see their rapist rot in prison and have to register as a sex offender. And some people aren’t even ready to talk about it or confront what happened to them until it’s too late to report, or ever,” Willingham said.
“I want survivors to know that that’s okay, too. There is no ‘right’ way to survive sexual assault; there’s no duty to do anything but survive as best you can,” Willingham said.
"There is no single right way to heal," Willingham wrote. "There are many ways to be strong. Even if you're not as public as we are, even if you never told anyone about the abuse, know that you are not alone, you are strong because you're still here, and you are worthy and capable of healing."
“I didn’t really expect my school to apologize then, but I also didn’t expect my school to remain silent while 19 of the professors who presumably helped overturn my assailant’s sanction very publicly doubled down on his side, extending my rape trial into the court of public opinion and joining my assailant’s efforts to brand me as a vindictive, slutty liar,” Willingham wrote in an essay this week...
“Maybe there simply hasn’t been enough incentive for them to apologize,” Willingham said. “They don’t apologize for or acknowledge past failures, but we’re supposed to trust that they’re devoted to changing the administrative culture that has failed and hurt students survivors for so long? Nah. Sounds like institutional gaslighting to me. And gaslighting is an effective way to maintain control over the status quo in unbalanced relationships—which makes me think that schools won’t apologize as long as they think they can get away with it.
We talk about the Stanford case and how the problem extends far beyond Stanford with Amy Ziering, filmmaker of "The Hunting Ground," a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, and Kamilah Willingham, one of the film’s subjects.
The case at Harvard Law that sent a chilling message: If you report a sexual assault, your professors may come after you publicly...