These Photos Expose a Harsh Reality of Campus Rape

September 16th 2016

Tricia Tongco

Former Stanford University student and convicted sex offender Brock Turner was released early this month after serving just three months of jail time for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman after a fraternity party, and the outrage was palpable.

Ithaca College student and photographer Yana Mazurkevich directed her anger into art with a powerful photo series called "It Happens." Mazurkevich, 20, made the series partly in response to Turner's release from jail; her photos depict young models in dramatized situations of campus sexual assault.

The "in-your-face" photos are meant as a public service announcement "to continue the conversation on sexual assault, as well as to raise a huge finger to Turner and his three-month jail time,” Mazurkevich told The Washington Post.

The series serves as a companion to "Dear Brock Turner," a set of photos Mazurkevich created earlier this year to highlight "the victim-blaming culture around rape, reflecting comments made by Turner and his father following the verdict," about which ATTN: has previously reported.

Mazurkevich's latest project has a different focus, she told the Post:

"The new set, titled 'It Happens,' focuses on diversity — race, gender, and sexual orientation — to show that sexual assault can happen with anyone, to anyone, at any time, Mazurkevich said. 'Sexual assault is not something that just happens to women,' she said."

The following images are graphic and may be offensive.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm Mazurkevich's statements:

  • Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
  • In one 12 month period surveyed by the CDC, about one in 20 women and men experienced sexual violence other than rape.
  • About 13 percent of women and 6 percent of men reported they experienced sexual coercion at some point in their lives.
  • (The figures are from 2012.)

It Happens photo

ATTN: has previously reported that one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college, and 78 colleges and universities are under investigation for their questionable handling of sexual assault complaints.

The trauma of rape can exact a major toll on victims. William Paterson University student Cherelle Locklear killed herself last year after the university failed to fully investigate her report that she was raped in a fraternity house off campus, her mother alleged in a lawsuit against the university, according to a report on NJ.com.

(William Paterson University’s vice president for student development, Miki Cammarata, said in a statement at the time that the school had yet to be served with the lawsuit but that officials "deny the accuracy of many of the statements reported in the media.")

Current Solutions, an online platform encouraging survivors of sexual assault to share their stories, has published "It Happens," along with anonymous stories from sexual assault survivors. See the rest of the series below.

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

It Happens photo

[h/t The Washington Post]