A Note for Readers and Listeners #MeTooPhD, Part II

Last week we brought you Part I of our interview with Dr Helana Darwin, who shared her #MeToo PhD story with us. We are incredibly grateful to Dr Darwin for sharing her story at all, and we are grateful to our audience for listening to Helana’s story. In only two weeks, Part I of Helana’s account has become our most listened-to episode. We only hope more people listen, and that Helana’s decision to come forward results in systemic change in the handling of #MeToo cases at Stony Brook and other universities.

Part II of Helana’s story drops in a matter of hours, and again, we are providing trigger warnings. If you yourself are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault or a related trauma, we welcome you to listen, but recognize it may be too much. Just as before, we thank you for being a good ally and listening with us if you are able, because Dr. Helana Darwin’s story is one that needs to be told and needs to be heard.

We continue to hope that the people who listen to this podcast become emboldened by Dr. Darwin’s example to break their own silences, or to help the people in their lives to do so. We know that Dr. Darwin did not need our help to break her silence, although the lack of support, both from her own department and from the broader community of her fellow sociologists, has been noted. Nevertheless, we feel that it is still our responsibility to offer any help we can–by lending her our platform and letting her talk. So we again extend this invitation to all of you: if you want our help breaking your silence, telling your story, or if you just want our help as a sounding-board, please do not hesitate to reach out.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic abuse, intimate-partner abuse, grooming, gaslighting, or any other sexual- or relationship-trauma, please make use of the resources listed below. There is no substitute for a trained professional, such as a social worker, but it can feel daunting to take that step. So please reach out–to us, if not to anyone else. Being a survivor can feel lonely, and that’s a valid feeling, but it can also be true that there are people in your corner who want to help; people who know something about what you’re going through. And because our team includes survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, we can and will continue to bear witness to the value of a supportive community in helping you heal.

General Resources

National Sexual Assault Hotline 

1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)


*For immediate help in your local area, to find SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners–forensic nurses who have received special and additional training to care for the physical, emotional and psychological needs of sexual assault victims and survivors), you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline 


National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Men Can Stop Rape

LGBTQ+ Resources

Sexual Assault and the LGBTQ+ Community

LGBTQ+ Resources from RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)

Grooming and Gaslighting

Resources on grooming

Warning signs of gaslighting

What is gaslighting?

Mental Health and Graduate School

The Ivory Tower Boiler Room brought you a two part series about graduate school and mental health earlier this year. Here are links to those two episodes:

We have also previously reported on failures in allyship within Stony Brook University:

Additional mental health and graduate school resources

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