Tim and Vicky had both been board members at a student organization; he resigned immediately. In the cafeteria, he ate in the corner, facing the wall. Sometimes he'd see her, and he'd leave his food and get out. He gave up lingering in public places altogether. He distanced himself from all their mutual friends, but one stayed in touch with him. Some nights, he'd get a text saying Vicky was coming to a specific bar, and he'd flee accordingly. With every new class, he feared he'd see her, in which case he says he'd "have dropped it in a heartbeat."
As to why the college doesn't have a scheduling system set up to prevent that possibility,
your guess is as good as ours.
"In my mind," says Tim, "I had been tested and had failed miserably. Why should I not go to hell for what I did? ... You spend your whole life thinking about the monsters who would hurt someone like that, and then you find out you are one of those monsters. There was no excuse, no escape from what I had done. I was guilty of everything I had been accused of, and there was no one to blame but me."
In case you forgot.
As a Catholic, Tim was supposed to formally go to confession, tell God via the priest what he'd done, and be absolved of his sins. He hasn't, and he doesn't intend to.
"It's not God that I need to be begging for forgiveness," he says. "I believe that only [Vicky] can truly forgive me for what I have done to her. And if she won't, if I have hurt her too deeply for her to ever forgive me, then so be it. I will live with the full weight of what I did for the rest of my life."
Tim said more -- he talked about putting his life together and moving on and coming to terms with whether or not he was a bad person, about how he has found subsequent relationships difficult. But, at some point, that discussion starts playing into this toxic idea that the real victims of college sexual assault are those poor perpetrators who bravely must put it behind them, and that's in no way what we're going for.
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The point we want to get across here is that we talk about "rapists" like they're a different species, predators lurking among us who must be spotted in advance. And while those people exist (and fully take advantage of all the legal gray areas described above), the reality is that lots of people who commit sexual assault are only a predator for one night, or one hour, and are shocked to find out they did anything wrong. Despite what Tim said above, there is no monster lurking inside them.
These ones are just regular people who grew up believing certain things about sex and are reinforced by a system that seems to silently give in to them.
Ryan Menezes is an editor and interviewer here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter.
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