OPINION: People need to stop protecting predators

Abigail Schmidt

Yes, that was me who got your friend kicked out of the bar. And I will unashamedly do it again the next time I see them there. It pays to be friends with the right people. You know who it doesn’t pay to be friends with? Rapists.
I will never understand how someone can find out, with rock-solid proof, that their friend raped someone and continue to be friends with them. How can you look at them the same? And how can you look at yourself the same for standing with them? It’s bad enough that these people continue to show their faces. People who defend them are no different.
I am not trying to give a holier-than-thou rant on how I’m better than everyone and how my friends and I are sin-free angels. I am saying, however, that if I find out one of them assaults someone, they are not my friend anymore. It is that simple. I have heard countless times of people saying that they continue to be friends with a known rapist because they feel bad for them, or they would have no friends otherwise. Are you really worried about looking like you have no friends? You should be more worried about how you look to other people after you rape someone, or associate and defend someone who has. You should be more worried about how you could have ruined someone’s life.
It is completely backward. So many people work so hard to defend and cover for their friends after they do something terrible when it is so much easier, and better for everyone, to cut them off. And spread the word that they are a bad person. Would you rather protect one villain, or protect several innocent people? No matter how much you defend yourself or your friend, there is no coming back from this. Modern misogynists call it a witch hunt. So please, report when you see the devil. Don’t dance with him.
How do you think victims of sexual assault feel when they see their assaulter walking around campus with their head held high as if no one can touch them? Or when they walk into a room full of people who are still friends with that person? You should be responsible for calling your “friends” out and cutting ties when they assault someone. It’s not you ruining their reputation; they did it to themselves when they put their hands on someone without proper consent.
There are people on this campus who will not look me in the eye because I have called them or their friends out on being a rapist. I call that a win. That’s just an admission of guilt.
Trust me, losing someone you considered a friend because they raped someone is not a loss. Because if they do it once with no repercussions, chances are they will do it again. People who think that is okay only see others as objects. And that is not someone you should want in your life.
Loyola, hold your friends accountable. And if they assault someone, they are not your friend.