My Settlement with Emma Willard School
I refused to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). This document would have served to only send my narrative into a chamber of extended silence and anonymity. This is a tool often used to protect the interests of the institution or individual who harmed the survivor. In this way, I feel they perpetuate the problem and absolutely conceal the act as well as the sexual predator. I am only free to share what happened to me because I did not sign an NDA in 2016 at mediation. I think it is very important to state that a lot of survivors do not have the luxury of not signing NDAs. I was prepared to walk away from mediation empty handed, that is not a choice that many survivors could make. NDAs are a terribly cruel instrument to be used against sexual assault survivors as a means to suppress public knowledge of what happened to them. I believe that they should be considered unconscionable as they favor the abuser.
Emma Willard School settled with me after media and alumni pressure persuaded them. I had no access to a court of law to sue them because of the statute of limitations in NY. I used some money for therapy to process my trauma. Now I’m using the money from Emma Willard School to fund non-profits led by survivors of sexual assault to help improve our society and in supporting actions to promote justice. I moved to NYC and am putting my feet to the pavement and my money where my mouth is to help educate people about the Child Victim’s Act and do community outreach. I am also very adamant that entities and individuals in power that are opposed to this legislation get called out and that I be a part of that process alongside fellow advocates and survivors. State and Federal Laws are needed beyond NY to help survivors have access to justice; co-sponsors hit me up.
Details matter. History matters. I want to use the money I received to make a difference.