Stand By Dr. Rebecca Heiss

Amplifying Rebecca’s voice to help all assault victims find their own

Background

Years ago, we had the pleasure of studying under Rebecca during her time as a professor at the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. She was always more than that to us, though—a mentor and a friend who we strove to be like when we got older. We think every one of her students would agree she was a positive force that helped and supported all of us. Even now, she remains a strong, intelligent, caring, and inspirational role model whom many of us admire. And we know her students aren’t the only ones affected by her contagious love and positivity. Anyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with Rebecca knows she would do anything for her friends.
 
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Now, more than ever, we must show her we believe her and are willing to support her through this time, like she has done for us.

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The Story
For those who don’t know, Rebecca was sexually assaulted this summer. This was not the first time, but it was the final tipping point that stirred her to action. After long deliberation, she bravely came forward and filed a police report against her assaulter. Due to current legislation that requires physical evidence of an assault, the police dropped the case. However, like the advocate she is, Rebecca shared her experience on the news and social media in the hopes of giving a voice back to sexual assault survivors and promoting education on the subject. Instead of letting shame take over, she talked about her experience with vulnerability and conviction, which ultimately led to her assaulter suing her for libel and slander.
 
Rebecca is standing up for anyone who has ever found themselves in a similar situation. This fight is about more than her. Let’s do our part to end the cycle by showing that we believe survivors and will stand with the ones who come forward.

The Cost
We are starting out with a goal of $25,000. Money raised will strictly go toward the lawsuit, hiring a lawyer, travel, associated costs, and her inability to work as she battles this accusation. We want to be very clear that Rebecca had no part in the creation of this page, and this money is solely for the purpose of funding her lawsuit. We anticipate legal fees to accumulate rapidly as Rebecca moves through this process.
 
How We Can Help
We hope that with this GoFundMe, everyone can demonstrate their support by funding Rebecca’s legal fees as she fights for so many. Any other remaining donations will be given to The Julie Valentine Center  – a South Carolina nonprofit organization and rape crisis center that offers “free, confidential services to victims of sexual assault and child abuse” and whose mission is “to stop sexual violence and child abuse and the impact of these crimes through prevention, investigation, collaboration, treatment, and advocacy.”
 
Please donate and share this amongst your friends. Every action will help. We cannot sit idly by in the face of this injustice. Supporting Rebecca feels like one way we can take back our power.
 
Do not be dismayed if financial giving is not feasible for you! Please give with your voice, your vote, your time, and your heart. Speak up and step in if you see this type of behavior around you. Exercise your right in our democracy and hold elected officials accountable, contact them, and if you feel poorly represented, elect someone who will give voice to your concerns. Talk about this! Sweeping it under the rug, tuning it out, or turning a blind eye only perpetuates this epidemic. Volunteer your time with local organizations empowering survivors of assault. Give your time to those you love who have been affected. Allow space and safety in your relationships for conversations about this. Together, in love, we may slowly begin to heal new and old wounds.
 
We’ll leave you with a Rebecca Heiss original quote in reflection on her own experience and our national state of affairs:

I’ll be damned if it will hold the good people of the world down.
 
Thank you, good people of the world. You are not alone.
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Fundraising team: Reilly, Caroline, and Andrew (4)

Reilly Kilpatrick 
Organizer
Raised $20 from 1 donation
Charleston, SC
Rebecca Heiss 
Beneficiary
Caroline Gilmer 
Team member
Raised $350 from 2 donations
Andrew Sedler 
Team member
Raised $275 from 3 donations
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