“One in five female college students has experienced unwanted sexual contact during her time on campus, according to a study of 150,000 students conducted by the Association of American Universities. Yet, somehow, nine in 10 colleges reported no rapes in 2014,” read an email sent by Leah Morse for the author Allison Leotta, a sex crime prosecutor for over ten years. During her time as a sex crime prosecutor, Leotta saw many heartbreaking stories. She started writing in order to process these tragic crimes committed in cases that she worked on. Leotta’s newest book, The Last Good Girl, in the Anna Curtis series, is set to be released May 3. I had the opportunity to read the novel and interview the author.
Allison Leotta is working towards bringing awareness to sexal assault by reaching out to newspapers, such as The Rambler, and by writing the Anna Curtis series. After reading The Last Good Girl, I feel very passionate about bringing more awareness to sexual assault on college campuses. It is a problem and what is even scarier is that some colleges choose to do nothing about it. The story is about a freshman college student who goes to her first college party. She is given a drugged drink and blacks out and finds herself in bed with a male student on top of her, having sex with her. Before she could push him off her, she blacks out again. She was raped. She goes missing after reporting the rape. She had talked to many many people on campus. The male student finally got expelled, but it was overridden by the college president, the girl’s father: he got away with rape. If you would like to know the rest of the suspenseful story, you’ll have to pick up a copy of this tragic novel, in stores May 3. The book is very eye opening to the problems going on in today’s society. This is a big problem that we NEED to fix. No person, female or male, should have to go through this.
This story is fiction, though Leotta based it on cases she worked on. The terrible things that happen in the book could and do happen. If any of you have been sexually assaulted, Leotta says this, “You’re not alone. I believe you. You’re stronger than you know.” She encourages anyone who has experienced sexual assault to turn the person in, “The vast majority of sex assaults aren’t — and this lets predators keep on preying. Most college campus assailants are repeat offenders. Something like 6% of the boys commit 90% of the offenses. That’s why reporting is so important: for your own healing — because I really think that talking about it is the main way to process what happened and conquer it — and also to stop the assailant from doing it again.” Watch out when you are drinking alcohol because most of the sexual assault crimes that do occur on college campuses are due to alcohol. Those who are committing these crimes are not typically strangers, they are people who gain your trust first. Please, always be aware of your surroundings and the people you are with.
To report a sexual assault crime, call Campus Security at 217.245.3111 or go to the Illinois College website and go to “quicklinks,” then “sexual misconduct”. There is a form you could fill out under “report an offense.” Remember, it is not your fault and there are people who would be more than willing to listen to you.
Jessica Sanders, from Woodstock, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. Jessica is a member of the IC choir and is the Editor in Chief of The Rambler. She is proud to have interned at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site.