Courtney Howard, an only child, says she pledged a sorority at San Jose State University in California to experience the bonds of sisterhood. Instead she says she found herself being mercilessly paddled.
Howard described the violent hazing by her sorority sisters that left her body bruised and battered.
The infamous paddle was used for comic effect in the classic Animal House. But the reality of the paddle is no laughing matter.
"I remember when they hit me the first time. It hurt so bad that I jumped forward," Howard said.
Violent hazing among girls, like a vicious assault at a high school in suburban Chicago, is now just as common as hazing among boys, according to recent surveys.
Howard has filed a lawsuit against both San Jose State and the sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho.
Howard's lawyer said, "I think it is tragic that there is such a conspiracy of silence about these activities. Courtney Howard had the courage to come forward."
Howard sobbed, "The more people come forward, schools will be forced to look at the problem that they're having."
The school suspended the sorority until the year 2016.