As the backlash following the criticism of Rolling Stone's campus rape story continues to mount, Emily Clark, who was rape victim Jackie's suitemate during their first year at UVA, has spoken out in a letter published in The Cavalier Daily.
Clark says that Rolling Stone's statement about its trust in Jackie being "misplaced" is backwards. "It seems it was Jackie who misplaced her trust in Rolling Stone," Clark writes. She goes on to defend Jackie's account:
...the articles released in the past few days have been troubling to me, and the responses to them even more so. While I cannot say what happened that night, and I cannot prove the validity of every tiny aspect of her story to you, I can tell you that this story is not a hoax, a lie or a scheme. Something terrible happened to Jackie at the hands of several men who have yet to receive any repercussions.
Whether the details are correct or not, and whether the reporting was faulty, or the hazy memories of a traumatizing night got skewed... the blame should never fall on the victim's shoulders. Jackie is a victim, as are so many others, men and women, young and old. So many stories have gone untold and so many perpetrators have been allowed to walk free. [The Cavalier Daily]
Clark describes watching Jackie go from a "bright, happy, and bubbly" first-year student to one who became increasingly withdrawn. "I wondered if she was okay. I didn't ask. I wish I had," Clark writes. "I didn't know until this year with the publication of Rolling Stone's article how bad that time was for her. But I applaud Jackie for telling her story, now two years later. It was a story that needed to be told."
Clark concludes her article by urging students to stand with survivors, because "the blame should never fall on the victim's shoulders."