Published in the Daily Tar Heel on April 10, 2013


On Monday, Alert Carolina sent an informational message about charges of false report being filed against a sexual assault survivor by the UNC Department of Public Safety.

This message shocked me, given that Alert Carolina had not made an announcement about any reported sexual assaults on or near campus in the past several days.

The message explains that there was no “imminent threat” to the Carolina community following the assault, and that an alert would have compromised the integrity of the investigation.

I question the integrity of a sexual assault investigation that turns into a case against the reporting survivor within 48 hours of its initiation.

The informational message contradicts the Department of Public Safety’s encouragement of survivors to report sexual assault.

In this case, the survivor was burdened with proving that an assault occurred, and has now been charged with a crime for speaking out.

What significant interest should a false report have for the Carolina community that a sexual assault does not?

I cannot think of a clearer message to students, faculty and staff that survivors will be punished for speaking out.

Sarah-Kathryn Bryan ’15
Women’s and Gender Studies, Comparative Literature