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© Abbey Mercando for The Daily Reflector

"My thesis is about which factors contribute to the blaming of rape victims, both in society and the justice system. My focus is on social injustices. Rape is a huge issue that is undermined in this nation and the conversation is often derailed. It's talked about often but not in the right contexts."

What kind of misconceptions do you think need to be corrected?

"The idea that anything besides a rapist causes rape is a huge problem. It doesn't matter where one is walking or what someone is wearing, no one invites rape into their life."

Why is it important to you to study social injustice?

"In a first world country that is a democracy, we have so many freedoms and people forget there's still a lot of work to be done on the social front. As a person who lives through intersectionality and advocates for it, by studying social inequalities I can help educate people and improve our society. Yes, gay marriage is legal now, but the number one cause of death for trans women is still murder in our country. These small victories don't cancel out the things that still need to happen.

"Being someone that is part of the LGBT community and outwardly presenting as female is very difficult. I do have privileges that many people don't. People are so obsessed with foreign policy and the economy, and I think a lot of things that affect people in their daily lives get brushed under the rug. I want to bring attention to those things, like basic health care for trans or queer people, or women who are abused but can't afford to go to an abuse shelter. Most of the feedback I get is negative, which is why it's so important to keep doing what I do."


Bless your heart
Bless your heart