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Dec 08, 2014 01:17 PM EST

Rolling Stone UVa Gang Rape Article Fallout Worries Sexual Assault Survivors and Advocates

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In the wake of Rolling Stone admitting fault in its reporting of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia (UVa), advocates for reformed sexual assault practices on college campuses are worried.

According to the Huffington Post, some sexual assault survivors and advocates feel as though the air has been let out of an increasingly large movement. The magazine recently issued a statement saying their main source, a woman only known as "Jackie," was not entirely trustworthy and other publications found holes in the story.

"I felt like we were almost at a tipping point in this work," Monika Johnson Hostler, president of National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, told the HP. "For the first time, we thought people were listening. But we all might be going back to where we were before this."

Over the past two years, the Obama Administration has brought a lot of attention to the issue of sexual assault in college through the "It's On Us" and "Not Alone" campaigns. The Education and Justice Departments have also been investigating dozens upon dozens of schools for Title IX and Clery Act compliance, either from random selection or from specific complaints.

The Rolling Stone article detailing Jackie's horrific gang rape at the hands of seven men at a UVa fraternity house and the school's supposed non-action after the fact called even more attention to the cause. But the magazine's editorial team said they honored Jackie's request by not contacting the men who she said raped her and the man who she said lured her to the party.

"I do think this could set us back," Hostler said. "I think it could be a huge, huge distraction to the work we've done in the past few years around sexual violence."

The fraternity, Psi Kappa Phi, openly refuted Jackie's claims and proved they did not hold an event on the night in question. Moreover, they said the man Jackie accused of bringing her to the party was not even a member. He told the Washington Post he did not truly know Jackie, but only knew of who she is.

"It will not, however, change the absolute fact that there is an epidemic of campus rape," Colby Bruno, a managing attorney at the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston, told the HP. "And it will not change that there are thousands of victims every day who are struggling to find someone who believes them when they are telling the truth."

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