By Justin Adam Brown - jbrown@timesleader.com

A defense team in a rape case is asking the victim to supply a list of sexual partners

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Wilkes University students, Scranton LCP Mandy Doria, and rape survivor Emma Hanrahan speak out on Virginia Wesleyan University’s request for list of sexual partners.

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    The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network reports that 68 percent of sexual assaults in the last five years were not reported to police. Here’s one possible reason why: Virginia Wesleyan College is asking a woman who did report being raped to supply a list identifying every sexual partner she ever had — including boyfriends after the alleged assault — in its latest response to an ongoing lawsuit.

    The victim, who is suing the private liberal arts school under the pseudonum Jane Doe, says she was assaulted by a male classmate in 2012, according to The Huffinton Post. It also reported that the male student was found responsible for sexual misconduct and expelled in 2013. Doe alleges another male classmate, who worked for the school as a peer advisor, supplied her with drugged alcohol on the night she was assaulted.

    The national story hit home and Wilkes University students Alyson Kapun and Allison Seyfried, Scranton counselor Mandy Doria, and rape survivor Emma Hanrahan shared their reaction.

    Kapun said she supports the school’s agenda to explore all angles of the investigation, in case the accuser is innocent, but said there are less invasive ways to discover her level of trauma. She said the request put on Doe is outrageous.

    “It’s a total violation of her privacy,” Kapun said. “I wouldn’t provide the information. It sounds like the school doesn’t believe her.”

    Seyfried said she was shocked when she heard of the case.

    “It doesn’t matter who she had sex with before or after. They’re not the ones who raped her,” she said.

    Doria, an LCP at the Counseling Wellness Center of Scranton said the list would not provide enough relevant information to prove Doe’s claim.

    “The word trauma inherently depends on how that person perceives the event,” Doria said. “Not the court, nor any of her partners, can label that for her.”

    Doria said the court can’t measure trauma. The college’s pending request, however, could prolong it.

    “Symptoms may worsen, as qualities such as trust will be more difficult to develop again,” Doria said. “If she feels as if people do not believe her in naming this incident as rape, regardless of how many sexual partners she had or whether she was a virgin, it is doing a disservice to our civil rights laws and can be demeaning and offer no dignity or help for someone coming forward.”

    Emma Hanrahan, from Lake Placid, New York, is a public speaker for RAINN who speaks across the country about the issue. In 2014, her testimony to MTV News detailing the reality of being raped went viral. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to speaking out on the issues because “talking about it and helping others gives a purpose to what happened,” she said.

    “I’m deeply offended that the school asked her that,” Hanrahan said. “But I’m not surprised. I speak at colleges all over the country, and a common question I get asked is, ‘How drunk were you?’ or “How many people did you have sex with before?’ As if any of that matters. I guess as a society, your sexual history matters or how much alcohol you drank matters. It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if you had sex with 100 people before — no means no.”

    Hanrahan can relate to Doe, she said. Her college, which she asked to remain unnamed, didn’t support her when she came forward telling three of the school’s all-star basketball players raped her. She was scrutinized by friends, faculty and town residents.

    “What I want to say to people out there is that only 2 percent of reported rape cases turn out to be false,” Hanrahan said. “Give them the benefit of the doubt. Help first, don’t judge first.”

    For victims of sexual assault, Hanrahan says they should know there are resources.

    “Rape is almost worse than murder,” Hanrahan said. “When you’re murdered, you die. But when you’re raped, a part of you dies, and you spend the rest of your life picking up the pieces.”

    Reach Justin Adam Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @wkdr

    By Justin Adam Brown

    jbrown@timesleader.com

    Wilkes University students, Scranton LCP Mandy Doria, and rape survivor Emma Hanrahan speak out on Virginia Wesleyan University’s request for list of sexual partners.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_RAPEstorypic1.jpgWilkes University students, Scranton LCP Mandy Doria, and rape survivor Emma Hanrahan speak out on Virginia Wesleyan University’s request for list of sexual partners.

    Reach Justin Adam Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @wkdr