Our schools failed us when we reported rape. We got justice & advocated for other students.


Júlia & Amelia, ERA student clients

After separately surviving sexual assault by the same student assailant and reporting to their college, Amelia Wagoner and Júlia Sanchez were both failed by their school’s dismissive and retaliatory response. They met each other through ERA while enduring their college’s harmful responses to their reports of sexual assault, and discovered they had been assaulted by the same person. Both turned to ERA for legal assistance.

In addition to being disbelieved, victim-blamed, and shamed by her school, Amelia endured multiple retaliatory appeals to her Title IX complaint with seemingly no end in sight.

Continued below.

No one should be put through all of this after reporting rape. No one should be forced to relive it over and over again. Or have to watch all the time where they go and who they’re with, just because they wanted to feel safe at their own school. — Amelia Wagoner

Júlia wasn’t informed of her right to file a Title IX complaint and launch an investigation in a timely manner, resulting in additional harm at the hands of the assailant, before finally being told about her rights.

Despite their school’s attempt to keep them apart, Amelia and Júlia connected and helped each other through their school’s botched investigation process.

Now, they’re both speaking out publicly because they don’t want other student survivors to endure what they went through. Both spoke to the California legislature in support of Senate Bill 493. Amelia supported ERA’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education by speaking at a press conference and by writing a letter to the editor that appeared in The New York Times. Júlia wrote an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee about SB 493, encouraging lawmakers to protect the rights of college students after reports of sexual assault and harassment. Both continue to advocate for the rights of student survivors.

ERA is so proud to represent these inspiring student survivors and activists, whose leadership is instrumental to the concrete reforms taking place at colleges across the country.

I was glad to finally have a partner in fighting for what I knew was right. Neither of us wanted to see this happen to anyone else. — Júlia Sanchez

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