AN INVESTIGATION OF THE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE CLIMATE AT CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO

THIS IS THE CLAPBACK​

This research investigation was conducted from September 2018-March 2019. The participants in this study are Cal Poly students or alumni who identify as survivors of sexual violence. ​​
In this investigation, 61 survivors were asked about the incident(s) they went through, how they navigate(d) Cal Poly's culture, how the experience of sexual violence impacts their daily life, and where they find support and healing. 
The symbol for The Clapback is a red handprint. In 1995, Cal Poly's S.A.F.E.R. (Sexual Assault-Free Environment Resource) created the Red Hands Project in which red hands were painted on areas of campus where sexual assaults had taken place. By 2005, 23 handprints covered the sidewalks outside of residence halls. Administration painted over these hands in 2005 to minimize scrutiny regarding Cal Poly's sexual assault and rape problem.  I am bringing back the red handprint to honor the 23 survivors' stories that the adminstration invalidated.
The project is called The Clapback because these 61 survivors' voices are meant to be a slap in the face to those who have invalidated, blamed, ignored, and silenced us. These are the survivors' stories. 
THE SURVIVORS

ABOUT ME

My name is Amelia Meyerhoff and I am the investigator and founder of The Clapback. I will be graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor's in English and minors in Spanish and psychology. During my second year at Cal Poly, I was raped by someone who I considered to be my friend. When I came forward about this incident, I experienced invalidation, judgment, and victim blaming. The main thing that helped me heal from my first trauma was speaking to other survivors and realizing I was not alone. I want The Clapback to spark a movement that will promote empathy for victims of sexual violence, provide survivors a validating platform to voice their experiences, foster a community of survivors, and raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and rape on college campuses. More information about my experience as a survivor and why I started The Clapback can be found in the preface. 
PREFACE