Happy Pi Day! March 14 is a day to celebrate science and math as it is the day we commemorate the mathematical constant π.
You are likely wondering what Pi Day has to do with survivors of sexual harassment and violence. Last year, LinkedIn reported that “more women entered [the STEM fields] over the past 40 years than any other field.” However, despite these improvements, women still make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce, even though they simultaneously make up over half of the workforce as a whole.
It has been well-publicized over the last year that sexual harassment and violence against women is extremely prevalent at the graduate school level, particularly in the science and math areas. And when they report these incidents, women often face retaliation, forcing them chose between remaining in a hostile environment or abandoning their pursuit of a graduate degree.
Since 2014, SurvJustice has worked to ensure that students have safe and equitable access to education. SurvJustice provides legal services to protect students’ rights in the aftermath of sexual violence and assist them in seeking justice. This ensures that students, ranging from kindergarten through graduate school, are able to graduate and pursue their career of choice despite the trauma they endured.
As Senior Staff Attorney, I represent survivors in the campus, civil, and criminal processes. Today, I am writing to you with an urgent request. Two students have reached out to SurvJustice after experiencing sexual harassment, violence and/or stalking in the course of their graduate programs. They are bravely reporting serial perpetrators and proceeding to campus hearings. However, as is the case for many students, they do not have the ability to afford legal assistance.
Typically, SurvJustice provides low-cost legal services in order to ensure affordability for our clients while remaining sustainable as a nonprofit. However, some students do not have the ability to pay anything at all. We know, though, that they still deserve to have an experienced and skilled attorney help them through every step of the process.
Will you donate to our fundraiser today in order to sponsor these students? Our request for your help is highly time-sensitive, as the process is moving along quickly for both women. A fundamental part of SurvJustice is our unwavering belief that no one should have to go through the reporting process alone. If we can provide these students with representation, we know that they will have the best possible chance at achieving the justice that they deserve.
With gratitude for your contribution,
Senior Staff Attorney