A Personal Lesson in Sexual Assault Awareness

Hernrieese Roberts

In September, 1968, I was 18 years old. I became a freshman, one of approximately 100 black students, at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi). As soon as I unpacked, I ventured to the Student Union where I was greeted by black upper classmen who informed me we were privileged because they had secured changes that we would benefit from. Therefore, our duty was to gain further benefits. We fought hard with civil disobedience the two years I was at Ole Miss, reaping many fruits, despite severe penalties for punishment.

The duties assigned to me included riding in a car with five guys who just talked. I sat on the back seat, always by a window, just listening to them talk. This happened to me many times and I never questioned whether they were conditioning me.

One of the guys took me on a ride with just himself and me. He drove me into the woods of Oxford, Mississippi, stopping the car, forcing me into the back seat and proceeded to rape me. Just as he began, a policeman walked up and stopped him. Even now, 48 years later, I question what I have learned from this experience.

Issues |Sexual Assault

Region |Maryland

information about New Signature, a Washington DC tech solutions and consulting firm


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.