How An ABC Family Show Tackled Campus Rape In An Honest & Real Way

Refinery 29 February 2015

“I want to make sure I understand. Are you saying that you regret having sex with Tank, or that it was not consensual?”

“I’m saying something happened and … I wasn’t okay with it.”

Those are the words that seal fan-favorite character Tank’s expulsion from the University of Missouri-Kansas City on last night’s episode of Switched at Birth. The ABC Family show, which is now in its fourth season, has won already a Peabody Award for exploring controversial issues like racism, class, and the obstacles faced by the deaf community. Last week, the teen drama delved into on-campus sexual assault when main character Bay Kennish, played by Vanessa Marano, woke up naked in bed with her ex-boyfriend, Tank, after blacking out at a college party. Bay was upset when she woke up and slipped out the door, but her immediate concern was that she had cheated on her long-distance boyfriend, Emmett.

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