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Emma Sulkowicz carrying her mattress around campus
On the first day of her sophomore year at Columbia University, Emma Sulkowicz was raped in her dorm room. Despite two other allegations of rape against the same attacker, Columbia University has dismissed all three cases.

Horrified that her attacker is still a student at Columbia University, Emma is using performance art and her senior thesis to make a bold statement:

This week, two years after the alleged assault, Sulkowicz, a visual-arts major, has made a promise to carry her mattress around campus every day as part of her senior thesis. It is, she says, a symbol of the burden sexual-assault survivors carry with them every day.

“The act of carrying the mattress from inside my room out into the light has mirrored the way my life has changed, as I’ve brought my personal story out into the light,” Sulkowicz told TIME. “This project is a way to heal one of the most difficult things that happened to me. As I will build muscle and get stronger, hopefully I will also build emotional strength.”

Jump below the fold to hear Emma Sulkowicz's heartbreaking story in her own words.

Here is Emma discussing her senior thesis project:

And here is her highly frustrating story of how Columbia University has tried to brush her case (and others) under the rug:

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 08:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women, House of LIGHTS, and Pink Clubhouse.

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