I found healing after sexual assault through activism with ERA.

Myriah Epino, ERA student client

Myriah, a fist-generation college student, was sexually assault by a fellow student athlete her first semester of college. When she reported the assault to her school, they issued a no-contact order (the Title IX equivalent of a restraining order) against the assailant, but also against Myriah, meaning her movements were suddenly restricted, and she faced potential discipline if she accidentally violated the order.

In addition to constantly worrying that she would be punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the person who sexually assaulted Myriah was able to use the mutual no-contact order against her in retaliation. The school’s investigation dragged on for far too long, taking its toll. Myriah ultimately felt forced to transfer schools. Even then, the school tried to use her transcripts as a bargaining chip against her.

Student survivor turned activist

Myriah was not the first survivor to be punished by her school for reporting sexual assault, but she was the first to tell ERA about it. It made all the difference.

Myriah was not the first survivor to be punished by her school for reporting sexual assault, but she was the first to tell ERA about it. It turned out her college was part of a statewide school system, and the horrific unwritten policy of automatically issuing mutual no-contact orders was being used by every college in that system. By bringing this to ERA’s attention, Myriah potentially helped many other student survivors avoid going through additional unnecessary trauma at the hands of their school.

Myriah is now an activist against school abuse of student survivors. Alongside other survivors from her school (who she met through ERA), she has spoken out publicly against this type of abuse, and continues to fight for the rights of other student survivors.

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