SU girls in national spotlight after sexual assault movement featured on Buzzfeed
Mon, 10 Feb 2014 23:22:09 GMT —
By age 19, Syracuse University Sophomore Julie Gelb had been raped twice, but she blamed herself for being under the influence of alcohol.
"Next thing I know I'm in his hotel room after being unconscious and I wake up to this stranger being on top of me. I'll never forget that," says Gelb.
Gelb was raped once on a high school trip to Canada and once while studying abroad last summer in Madrid, but she never told a soul until she got to college and realized she wasn't alone.
Sophomore Caroline Heres also kept her sexual assault a secret for many years. Heres' attacker was a man she had a relationship with before college who pressured her sexually while ignoring her protests.
"This complete sense of fear and depression because I have so many memories of just laying there and being like when did I become this girl," says Heres.
Armed with newfound strength from sharing their stories, Gelb, Heres, and their friend Jackie Reilly started the Girl Code Movement in November. Now they're getting national attention after being featured front and center on Buzzfeed over the weekend.
The girls met after joining the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. The Girl Code Movement is still in the process of registering as a student organization on the SU campus, but in the meantime, the girls are using their greek life affiliation to teach students about being an active bystander.
"We need to start looking out for each other. Even if you don't know each other, even if you're in a different sorority, you need to start looking out for each other and becoming aware of this," says Heres.