Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:07 pm

Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby charlie90 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:55 pm

I realize this might sound like, depending on one's personal views and/or political persuasion, an example of a millennial snowflake, but it is a legitimate question: My criminal law class is heavily focused on the MPC and, of the few actual types of crimes we are reviewing, rape and sexual assault is a large chunk of our course. Although it is early in the semester, after talking with my professor during office hours and from the frequent references to the statute(s), I see that the MPC's take on sexual assault is theoretically interesting to my professor.

But I am a rape victim. While discussions of sexual violence as it relates to the MPC now don't seem to be in-depth (since we have not read any cases concerning it, though it is planned for mid-way through the semester) and don't exactly bother me, I'd rather not have mental breakdown or flashbacks to my own assault during a more stressful part of the semester.

So, to my actual question(s):
- Should I just skip class the days that he teaches the cases on sexual violence (and avoid reading the relevant cases' facts)? Talk to the professor?
- Hope that if there is another question about sexual violence on his exam (there was one last year) that I will just read over it unemotionally?
- Go back to therapy because I was "fine" but might re-traumatize myself and be afraid of random men (which is bad for being a law school student, as many law students are male and likely people I don't know)?

User avatar
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:17 am

Re: Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:16 am

The correct response is to go to therapy (even if only just to discuss questions like the ones you're posting on these forums with someone more qualified to help you work through them), talk these questions through, and decide on a course of action that works for you.

A more immediate response: one option is to speak with your professor and ask that he either doesn't cold call you on the days that sexual violence is discussed (if you feel comfortable being in the classroom) or that he records the classes so you can engage with the material at a time and place of your choosing.

As for the exam, that just may be a scenario in which you will have to prepare for the worst case scenario. Sexual violence is an aspect of criminal law, and if your professor has a particular academic interest in laws and fact patterns touching on that subject, then you may need to white-knuckle through it. Writing extra practice exams on the subject and discussing your feelings with a therapist afterwards may help you best prepare for the possibility of such an exam question.

User avatar
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:26 pm

Re: Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby renc56 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:02 pm

I'm curious on how to approach this too, but I guess reaching out to the professor and any trusted administrators (?) might be helpful? Plus counseling.

User avatar
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:09 am

Re: Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby dianersg » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:20 pm

My professor didn't cold call on sexual assault and I know many won't, especially if you tell them you don't want to be called on. Before you talk him though (if you decided to so), you should check on the reporting policy at your school. At my school, if you tell a professor you are a sexual assault victim they have to report it, so my crim professor told us to talk to non-reporting members of the staff if we were uncomfortable and they could work with her to develop a solution that would allow us to learn the material in the least traumatic way possible.

User avatar
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:44 am

Re: Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby mino » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:42 pm

I had similar questions when I was a 1L. I went to therapy and specifically asked for strategies that could help me be present in class and learn while at the same time managing any triggers that came up. My therapist was incredibly helpful and helped me to come up with several strategies that I could use (even in class) to help me get everything I wanted out of the class while managing everything that came with it.

I highly highly recommend seeing a therapist, explaining what you're worried about and what your goals are, and work with them to come up with strategies that can help you. This is an incredibly tough situation to be in and you're not alone in struggling with what to do. Even taking proactive steps to think about your mental health in a situation like this is something many of us don't do enough of and I personally think it was brave of you to reach out for advice. Feel free to pm me if you want to chat more - happy to share more offline.

User avatar
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Dealing with Sexual Violence Topics in 1L Crim Class

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:10 pm

You may be able to request an accommodation if you speak with the Dean of Student Affairs. It sounds like you may have some mild PTSD issues, and should be accommodated. If you notice, the bar does not frequently test on rape/sexual assault, possibly for this reason.

Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests