Lisa Sendrow, the survivor of sexual assault who George Will recently claimed was using her rape to get a “coveted status,” said on Wednesday that his “grotesque” Washington Post column could trigger traumatic reactions in other survivors.
In a piece early last month, Will used Sendrow’s rape to make his point about “the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. ‘sexual assault.’”
Will asserted that when universities “make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.”
“He made so many grotesque remarks about sexual assault,” Sendrow told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Wednesday. “Dismissing not only my claims, but essentially using that as a way to dismiss all sexual assault claims, diminishing what it looks like on college campuses as if it doesn’t exist.”
“It was awful just because sexual assault is extremely triggering,” she pointed out. “There are so many people on college campuses who are triggered every single day, so many people who are diagnosed with PTSD, so many people who don’t come forward and are afraid to talk because of things like what Will is saying, that this doesn’t exist, that this is a privilege for us to be sexually assaulted. And this isn’t a privilege for anybody.”
Sendrow noted that Will might feel differently “if someone came forward who he knew extremely well, saying that ‘this happened to me, and I was afraid, and I don’t want to go outside anymore, and I don’t want to go to class anymore,’ how would he react to that?”
In an interview with Media Matters earlier this week, Sendrow wondered what Will would do if his daughter had been sexually assaulted.
“If she came to him crying, or even not crying, but if she came to him and told him this story, would he just say it wasn’t real?” she asked.
Sendrow said that Will had not tried to contact her before or after writing his column, but she would still be willing to meet with him.
“I just want Will to recognize that there are people out there who have feelings, and who are hurt, who are triggered and traumatized every day, who can be touched, and not realize that this is going to hurt them in the future,” she said. “I just want him to recognize that at the very least.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s New Day , broadcast July 2, 2014.
(h/t: Media Matters)