I commend John Garvey, the president of Catholic University, who on Friday swiftly and unequivocally suspended the school’s dean of social service, Will Rainford, after Mr. Rainford made insensitive comments about one of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accusers on Twitter [“Catholic U. dean suspended for tweet,” Metro, Sept. 29].
Leaving aside Mr. Rainford’s lack of judgment in using his academic position to admonish a woman who has come forward with claims of sexual assault, far more shocking was his lack of understanding of the complicated interpersonal dynamics that often arise between survivors and assailants. Mr. Rainford’s insinuation that a woman is somehow culpable for having been raped because she had been drinking alcohol and was older than some of the assailants is the type of prejudicial comment that serves to silence many — far too many — survivors.
As a clinical psychologist who has worked with female and male survivors, I have come to appreciate that it is often these sorts of comments that can be the most traumatic. It is truly disheartening when even an educator within our field continues to promulgate such narratives, and it serves as further evidence that we have a long way to go to end sexual violence.
Tyger Latham, Alexandria