California teen holds up sign ‘rapists don’t belong @ graduation’ after classmates accused of misconduct allowed to attend ceremony

·2 min read
Sofia Rossi walked across the stage with a message for the school’s adminstrators.  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Sofia Rossi walked across the stage with a message for the school’s adminstrators. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A teenage girl from California took a stand at her high school graduation with a sign that read “Rapists don’t belong @ graduation,” a gesture she said was meant to shine a light on her school district’s handling of sexual assault cases.

Sofia Rossi, 18, waved the sign in the air as she went across the stage to collect her diploma earlier this month, according to the SF Gate.

“I wanted to show survivors of sexual violence in the audience that the school allowing perpetrators to walk at graduation was not acceptable,” she said to the local newspaper.

“We had to hear administrators read the names of student assailants and listen as hundreds of people applauded them. I couldn’t let the survivors watching think that’s what they deserved, to watch their abuser be celebrated as they fly across the stage.”

Ms Rossi founded the organisation From Survivors, For Survivors, a support group for people who had experienced sexual assault. According to her, the group had begun a petition that campaigned to get the school to disallow “student rapists” from milestone occasions like graduation and prom.

“Clearly, the school didn’t listen to us because well-known perpetrators walked at the ceremony just like everybody else,” she said.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

In May, Mia Lozoya, a student at Ms Rossi’s high school, said she was a victim of a sexual assault, saying her attacker was a senior.

According to NBC News, Ms Lozoya filed a complaint with the police but a lack of evidence resulted in no charges.

According to the Rape, Assault, Incest National Network, mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder can manifest after a sexual assault.

RAINN state on their website, “Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor. These effects aren’t always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed. Learning more can help you find the best form of care to begin the healing process.”

You can find more information and advice for people affected by sexual assault and abuse at Rape Crisis or you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Read More

New Jersey closing its only women’s prison amid accusations of brutality and sexual assault

Academics in relationships with students ‘abuse’ their power says campus harassment campaigner

Top US diplomat says ‘China has to cooperate’ with investigation into Covid’s origins

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting