I haven't stopped feeling sick to my stomach since the findings of the Pepper Hamilton report were released yesterday. Throughout this past year, I kept hoping the articles weren't true, that our university couldn't have failed sexual assault victims in such a horrifying manner. Not only was it true, the report was much worse than I expected. More than anything, my heart aches for the victims.
Sexual assault is not something you can forget. You can learn to live with what happened to you. You can even go on to have a normal life. No matter how much you heal or what you do, the assault stays with you forever. Some nights, many years later, you still wake up in cold sweats with nightmares filled with your attacker's face.
Healing takes time, and instead of helping these victims, Baylor treated them horribly. At a time when they were most broken, Baylor added to that pain. We can't change what happened, but we can make sure it doesn't happen again. Baylor might not be able to stop an assault, but it can make sure no other woman has to go through terrible treatment after the fact.
As we start the healing process, let's make sure the victims aren't forgotten. Now that Baylor is finally taking the first steps to make the university a safer place for all women, it's important to recognize why it matters.