Warning: The following content contains sensitive material about sexual assault. Students discussed in this article have been given pseudonyms to protect their identities. A week ago, I found out, during a devastatingly casual conversation, that a charming, personable man I know and liked on campus had assaulted a dear friend of mine when we were freshmen. The details of their encounter are not necessary for this article, but suffice to say the story was every bit as horrible and heartbreaking as that of Chanel Miller’s, as Erica Kinsman’s, as every story of rape or sexual assault that I’m sure you’ve read of or heard about.
This man was well-known as a “good guy” — sure, maybe a little insensitive, maybe casually arrogant with the privilege that comes from being a tall, handsome white dude, but inherently a good person. I’d heard about his “creepy” behavior from girls he’d ghosted and one-night-stood over the years, and always assumed that their words were reflections of his immaturity. But the details of this particular incident brought me clarity.