Erin Poppe

Surviving a Sexual Assault: One Theta’s Story

My name is Erin Poppe, and I’m an alumna of the Delta Eta chapter at Kansas State University.

Our university newspaper recently published an article I wrote about my rape that occurred freshman year seven years ago, as part of a series on sexual violence awareness. (Editor’s note: April is Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Month.)

I decided to share my story with you because what happened to me is not uncommon. No, I didn’t get attacked on the way to my car at night and no, I wasn’t walking down a dark alley alone. But just because my rape doesn’t fit the mainstream idea of sexual assault doesn’t make it any less real. And just because talking about sexual assault can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. In fact, that’s all the more reason we should.

This article has blown up here on campus, and the response has been so overwhelmingly positive. I believe this is because it contributes to the often-unspoken conversation about what nonviolent/impaired consent rape looks like – which is a conversation I believe to be especially important for both our college members and alumnae, regardless of where they’re from.

I have to say that I’m so grateful for support I’ve received from my Theta sisters during this vulnerable time. So thank you, Theta, for putting these women in my life.