Roller Derby Has a Sexual Assault Problem, and We Need to Talk About It

Roller Derby Has a Sexual Assault Problem, and We Need to Talk About It Photo credit Sean Hale

Roller derby, sit down for a second. We need to talk.

It’s taken me eight years to write down what I’m about to say. Not because I’ve forgotten what happened to me or because it doesn’t affect me. I’ve waited because I didn’t think my story was worthy of reporting, and lacked the bravery and self worth to say something. I feared the things they’d say.

“That’s just what happens at after parties.”

“It was probably just a misunderstanding.”

“It’s not even that bad. It’s not like you got raped.”

“Get over it.”

“I don’t believe you.”

I’ve held onto this fear for eight years. Until now.

2017 D1 Champs: #6 Texas defeats #16 Minnesota, 280-153

2017 D1 Champs: #6 Texas defeats #16 Minnesota, 280-153 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Texas and Minnesota faced off earlier this year at the Big O where the Texecutioners took the win, 193-133. This time around Texas found the great wall of St. Paul a bit more permeable while strengthening their own defense to earn a final win, 280-153.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs 3rd Place: #3 Gotham stages a second half turn-around on #5 Denver, 178-128

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs 3rd Place: #3 Gotham stages a second half turn-around on #5 Denver, 178-128 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the battle for the 3rd place medal at stake, Gotham was clearly not looking to turn back time to 2009 – the last time they left WFTDA Championships without a medal. But Denver was aware that their roster held two of the key players that Rose City leveraged the last two years to keep Gotham from the top spot, and was obviously looking to make the most of it.

In the end, the scrappy play and reactionary blocking to ricocheting offensive moves took its toll on both teams. But after a first-half lead from Denver based on jam leads and multiple scoring passes, Gotham took their lessons into the halftime break and applied them wholeheartedly with the result of turning around their fate and claiming a 178-128 win over Denver, to take 3rd place exit and a medal from the tournament.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival wears out #12 Crime City, 220-160

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival wears out #12 Crime City, 220-160 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA –  #7 Arch Rival and #12 Crime City met nine months ago on the floor of The Big O. Crime ran into penalty trouble throughout and generally had trouble countering the power of Arch Rival’s defense. In the last consolation game of Champs weekend, many people were expecting Crime to perform, but ARCH was able to clamp down a victory early.

Crime City proved to never count out the underdog, despite the loss, they didn’t go down without a fight, having gained the momentum several times. Bettering their differential from the last time they met, Crime City fell to the Arch Rival All-Stars, 220-160.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #2 Rose City ousts #3 Gotham, 159-113

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #2 Rose City ousts #3 Gotham, 159-113 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – What has usually been the final Champs game for two years became the final game in the day on Saturday instead, in Philly. Gotham had some wounds to lick, and asses to kick, as they entered the game, while Rose had a burgeoning legacy of their own to defend with some key players out of the loop. This was destined to be a tense game of killer moves and tight point scoring, and the resulting play didn’t disappoint.

In the end, the more recent of the championship claims won out, and Gotham wore the weight of their losses, caving to Rose City’s gameplay. The Wheels of Justice earned a position in the final day’s Championship fight with a #1 spot and a Hydra to claim with a win of 159-113.