Columbia student to carry mattress until alleged rapist leaves campus

Many victims of rape and sexual assault are reminded of their trauma every day, everywhere.

For her senior thesis, a Columbia University art student will carry around a dorm-sized mattress for as long as she and her alleged rapist attend the same school.

"For me, I was raped in my own dorm bed and since then it's become fraught and I feel like I've carried the weight with me everywhere since then," Emma Sulkowicz, 21, explains in a video by the Columbia Spectator, the school's newspaper.

Sulkowitz tells the Spectator that the extra-long, twin-sized mattress is the right size to draw attention to the issue — light enough to manage, but "heavy enough that I continue to struggle with it." She says it also represents private space being dragged into the public.


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