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‘Unacceptable Acceptance Letters’ Sends A Shocking Message To First-Year Students And College Administrators

Campus administrators need to pay attention, too .

A disturbing study published in The Washington Post last year showed that more than 18 percent of female freshman at an unidentified New York-state university say they were the victims of rape or an attempted rape within their first year of school. Many of these assaults go unreported for fear of reprisal or that college administrators won’t take their claim seriously. That’s why a shocking new ad campaign is alerting first-year women about this sick epidemic and pressuring school administrators to take action.

April 16, during student-acceptance weekend, the Harvard Crimson ran an ad which appeared to be an acceptance letter. But the letter turns dark, describing the likelihood that a first-year female student will be sexually assaulted and how, most likely, her claims will be ignored by school administrators.

The “Unacceptable Acceptance” letter:

Dear Ms.

On behalf of the [name redacted] community, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance into the University of [name redacted]. We know that you will make lifelong friends and memories here on campus.

We’re sorry that one of these memories will include being raped by someone you thought you could trust. You’ll fear him the night he presses you against the wall and every day after that.

The claims you will make against your rapist will be ignored, much like your right to feel safe at school. After all, you can’t expect to expel someone on the basis of a story that begins with ‘I had been drinking.’

Alcohol has a way of making you stretch the truth, and we don’t respond to liars.


Director of Admissions

“This is a true story. One in five women are sexually assaulted in college,” the ad concluded. “If they accept you, don’t accept this.”

“The first six weeks of college is the period when freshmen have the highest likelihood of being raped,” Margaret Johnson, the executive creative director of the ad agency behind the campaign, told Adweek. “So we timed our campaign to raise awareness at the earliest point when college becomes a reality—the time when incoming freshmen receive their acceptance letters. The cover-ups are just as unacceptable as the attacks, and the campaign aims to hold these colleges accountable. We hope that people will take action through social media.”

via Instagram

Join the conversation on social media by using #DontAcceptRape

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