This Student Was Sexually Assaulted — & Says Her University Told Her Rapist Not To "Sweat It"

When Delaney Robinson first entered the University of North Carolina as a freshman a little over a year ago, she was looking forward to making new friends and having new experiences. However, she said during a press conference on Tuesday, "that all changed in February when I was assaulted and raped on campus."

In her powerful testimony, she said that she had been assaulted by Allen Artis, a linebacker on the UNC football team. And rather than receiving support and concern from her university, she has only been further traumatized — despite the fact that she did everything "right."

"I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do," she said. "I reported it. I allowed the rape kit to be taken. I gave a statement. I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office. But six months later, the university has done nothing."

In other words, Robinson did everything that victim-blaming culture dictates that a woman "should" do after being sexually assaulted: Gather evidence, speak up right away, and work with the police. Yet, instead of taking action, the UNC Department of Public Safety subjected her to a multitude of "humiliating and accusatory" questions, she said, and treated her "like a suspect."

"What was I wearing?" she recalled being asked. "What was I drinking? How much did I drink? How much did I eat that day? Did I lead him on? Had I hooked up with him before? Do I often have one night stands? Did I even say no? What is my sexual history? How many men have I slept with?"

Robinson also rightfully asserts that, though she had been drinking that night, her drunkenness "does not give anyone the right to violate me. I did not deserve to be raped."

Meanwhile, she said, Artis was told by the DPS "not sweat it" and to "just keep on living your life and playing football." According to ABC 11 News, Artis has been suspended from the football team, but remains on campus.

Under Title IX, which protects people from sex discrimination, universities are given 90 days to decide on a sexual assault case — an allotment that UNC has violated by failing to take action despite wrapping its investigation three months ago, as BuzzFeed reported. Robinson's attorney, Denise Branch, told ABC 11 News that the university has been waiting on results from Robinson's blood alcohol levels to decide how to proceed — which, in addition to contributing grossly to victim-blaming culture, is also a violation of Title IX.

"I'm taking this public stand, not for me, but for the other students on campus who are not protected, despite what the university says," Robinson said in her statement at the press conference.

Robinson's case is just one of many instances of campus sexual assault and points to the ineffective means by which universities sometimes choose to handle (or, more aptly, not handle) those cases. The way UNC reacted to her situation also highlights exactly what needs to change if we're going to bring survivors justice: the awful ways we treat survivors of sexual assault and abuse, even when they do everything they're "supposed" to do.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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