sxsw sixth street 2014

It was after midnight on a Friday in September 2007 when Jennifer ran out of the Sigma Pi fraternity house onto the street near the campus of San Diego State University.

A 20-year-old junior at SDSU, she was crying and frantic. She was barefoot and didn’t have a purse.

She didn’t care. She was trying to get away. She thought her boyfriend was chasing her, something he “always did.” They’d been together for nine months; he lived in the house. He’d choked her in the past.

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The night before, Jennifer says she’d experienced his most violent act yet. But she went back to the house anyway, a decision she would have to answer for in the months and years to come.

As Jennifer ran toward campus, two male students saw her and stopped. They called 911.

“I just kind of collapsed on my knees after I heard them calling 911 because I knew now that the police had been called, there’s no going back,” she said.

“There’s no more hiding this from people, there’s no more hiding it from my friends. It’s really over.”

Over the course of two nights, Jennifer told the cops her boyfriend had raped, sodomized and beaten her.

“He threw me against the wall and then he picked me up again and threw me on the floor,” she said.

“I landed on my back and then I looked up at him and he was reaching for his huge TV and I knew he was going to throw it on me. So at that point I realized if I don’t get out of here, he’s going to kill me this time.”

The police found her boyfriend a few hours later. He was arrested, spent the night in jail and released on bail the next day.

That meant he would return to campus.

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Brad Racino was the assistant editor and senior investigative reporter at inewsource. He's a big fan of transparency, whistleblowers and government agencies forgetting to redact key information from FOIA requests. Brad received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in...