Fearless: Mollie Sherman
As the 14 days to End Sexual Assault ends, Surge highlights the fearless actions of Mollie Sherman, for her courage to speak up against sexual assault.
When Mollie Sherman made her Facebook post detailing the incident, she knew how important it was to not be silent.
“Today I was sexually assaulted in broad daylight just outside my on-campus apartment. I refuse to let this event go by in anonymity. I am outraged. I’m almost sick to my stomach reading what my peers have had to say regarding the incident. I’m making this post as an eye-opener: crimes against women shouldn’t have to be personal in order for them to be serious.”
This post was highly commended by her peers for bringing awareness to issues of sexual assault on campus. “People sometimes need a face,” she says. “Its not the same saying, oh some girl was ‘fondled’ on campus. When someone says ‘I know Mollie and she was one of the victims,’ People then see it as real and their opinions change.”
Describing herself as someone who has always been a strong advocate for social justice, Mollie believes in speaking up and standing together against issues that promote injustice and violate others.
After the incident, Mollie was disappointed at the jokes and comments being made on social media by her peers. This made her become even more determined to raise awareness about sexual assault on our campus. As a member of Gettysburg AAUW, she encouraged the group to take immediate action and change the direction of the current conversations into a positive one for the campus and this issue. She was very instrumental in initiating the #NotAJoke Day of Awareness campaign, which aims to remind us all that issues of sexual assault are not a joke and should not be taken as such. This event generated a lot of support from the entire campus. “We ran out of blue ribbons in the first hour and a half,” she says enthusiastically.
Mollie has been even more appreciative of the individuals who have personally reached out to her to share their stories. This, she says, has been one of the most overwhelming results of this (unfortunate) experience. While she describes this as shocking, she is not all that surprised by the number of students who have been victim on our campus. The fear of stigmatization and backlash from others often result in most cases not being reported, something she has learned occurs often.
Mollie explains that the incident made her lose a sense of security in an environment she had always felt safe. “ I took all the precautions,” she says. “I don’t walk alone at night, and yet it still happened to me. And it happened at four in the afternoon.” This has made her more determined to be an advocate and encourages everyone else to do the same.
In addition to her involvement with Gettysburg’s AAUW, Mollie is also a member of SASA (Students Against Sexual Assault); and a member of Gettysburg’s literary magazine, The Mercury. She has also been a member of Gettysburg’s Marching Band and color guard during her time here.
Mollie is planning on starting a new literary art magazine called Art Mag. She describes her excitement for this new venture, which will feature all forms of art. She hopes to make Art Mag a monthly digital publication.