I opened the CMU Crime Alert email with a whispered “Please, don’t be sexual assault.” Although I’ve only received one notice detailing a CMU student being sexually assaulted in my four years here, that communication’s spare text still haunts me. Instead I found this:
CRIME ALERT 2010-006
Carnegie Mellon University Police have been notified by Pittsburgh Police that an assault occurred off campus between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m., Sunday, October 10 on N. Dithridge Street near Fifth Avenue.
The victim, a Carnegie Mellon University student, was walking home and had just turned onto N. Dithridge Street from 5th Avenue when an unknown suspect shoved her to the ground from behind and grabbed at her shirt. The victim was able to strike and kick the suspect causing him to flee behind St. Paul Cathedral towards N. Craig Street. The victim did not suffer any injury. The description of the suspect is that of a white male, approximately 5’8″ tall with a medium build, short light brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and unknown colored pants.
Yes! Women are constantly being told we can’t/shouldn’t fight back when attacked, and that it’s better to be mugged than–what? Killed? Sexually assaulted? The exact options are never particularly specific, but it is always known it is safer for us if we don’t fight back.
In my wallet, I carry a torn-out article from USA today, about two female hikers who beat off a man attempting to rape them. I do this because it is so rare to see women fighting back and winning reported in the news–here are some more examples that I managed to dig up last semester.
Thank you, unknown CMU student, for fighting and showing this suspect that women can kick ass.
“Music is the medicine of the breaking heart.”–Leigh Hunt