Harvard Law School Came After Me for Speaking Up About My Sexual Assault
How the Institution that Stands for Justice Failed Me and Justice | Why Secretary DeVos’s New Campus Sexual Assault Rules Will Gut #MeToo
By Kelly Yang
Recently, my alma mater Harvard Law School wrote to me asking for a donation for my 15th reunion, a class I’ll always share with the guy who sexually assaulted me when I was a teenager and completely got away with it. It’s a part of my life that I wanted to keep buried forever because it filled me with such shame, not just the fact that I was sexually assaulted, but the fact that the faculty of Harvard Law School actually voted on whether to take away my degree for speaking up about it.
The last thing I expected would happen to me at Harvard Law was sexual assault.
I was only eighteen years old when it happened, having skipped several grades, gone to college at 13, a first generation immigrant, a young woman of color who had overcome poverty and beaten the impossible odds to get in. The last thing I expected would happen to me at Harvard Law was sexual assault.
I remember my attacker telling me after the assault, “I should probably go to church for what I just did to you.” This followed by “And you should probably take a shower.” I did take a shower. I wanted to take a million showers. The showers did little to assuage the fact that we went to the same school. His apartment was across the street from my dorm. He sat behind me in one of my classes.
I saw him nearly every day, at law school events and law firm interviews. Whenever I saw him, my stomach would twist into a knot so tight, I felt like I was going to hurl. In the weeks that followed, I went the university nurse, got the rape tests done, told the Dean of Students what happened, switched dorms, and filed an anonymous report to the police.
Whenever I saw him, my stomach would twist into a knot so tight, I felt like I was going to hurl.
None of this was enough when I filed a formal complaint against him. Harvard Law School at the time adhered to the “clear and convincing evidence” standard, a higher…