Campus Sexual Assaults Still A Problem

Here is a story from the Boston Globe about Campus Sexual Assaults.

One American has likely been raped in the period of time it takes to count to 100 and chances are, that person is between the ages of 18 and 24. Chances are, that person is in college.

The odds of being sexually assaulted on a college campus — a mind-blowing one in five — have at this point been quoted almost to the point of dangerous irrelevance. The nearly 20 percent of college students who have been sexually assaulted somehow became a number without a face, a truth presumed inevitable and thus unworthy of much attention. For these survivors, the memory of sexual assault doesn’t fade — and the struggle continues past the closed door or rape kit.

Of the 135 rapes reported to Harvard between 2009 and 2013, only 10 resulted in expulsions. Eighty-eight percent of women raped on campus do not report the crime.

In their film, they try to get at why rape is so rampant on college campuses and why schools continue to protect student rapists. They speak with survivors, campus police, administrators, advocates, and activists, all of whom put forth a similar thesis: Universities cannot risk the public relations disaster, potential lawsuits, and financial losses that might result from being associated with a “rape problem.”

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College Officials In Denial About Campus Assaults

This is a story from Bloomberg about Campus Sexual Assaults. In recent surveys of U.S. College presidents, few admit to having the issue of campus sexual assaults at their own school. Only 6% of them said it’s a significant problem for them. While 80% said sexual assault is prevalent at their school.

College presidents overwhelmingly disagree that sexual assault is prevalent on their campuses, even though a third think it’s a problem in general

The survey got responses from presidents at 338 public institutions and 262 private nonprofits. About 26 percent don’t think sexual assault at school is common, and 42 percent are ambivalent.

Of the presidents surveyed, 77 percent said their school does a good job protecting women from sexual assault—even as the growing number of federal investigations suggests colleges have erred under Title IX, the federal law that bans schools from discriminating on the basis of gender.

The survey suggests that presidents are in denial about the problem.

We are wondering whether these college presidents can read. There’s been an enormous amount of publicity about campus sexual assaults in the last two or three years. Currently there are 101 schools that are under investigation by the federal government for violation of title IX. That is hardly insignificant.

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How Campus Assaults Are (mis)Treated

Today’s news about Campus Sexual Assaults comes from the Huffington Post.

The story provides an excellent example of how sexual assaults on college campuses are handled. A young woman was sexually assaulted in her dorm room. She reported it to campus authorities and filed an official report. But she wasn’t sure that she wanted to see the attacker punished.

Officials suggested a mediation session, something explicitly prohibited by the U.S. Department of Education in a letter to all colleges.

The result of the mediation was that the student took responsibility for what he did and was given a slight slap on the wrist for “disorderly conduct.” He was given a year of probation. But the assailant and the victim still see each other in classes and on campus-something that’s very traumatizing for the victim.

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Op-Ed Questions Long Held Stat On Campus Assaults

This op-ed piece from the New York Times questions the statistics that have long been bandied about regarding Campus Sexual Assaults.

The statistic in question is that one in five women who attend college is assaulted before she graduates comes from the study done in 2007 that was based on undergraduates and two unnamed universities.

The problem is that as of this date there is no study to confirm or refute those statistics.

“A possible solution can be found in the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Currently before Congress, it would require colleges to conduct anonymous, standardized surveys on sexual violence and publish the results, or face a fine. Both campus activists who believe there’s an epidemic of sexual assault and skeptics who doubt there’s a widespread problem can at least agree that a clearer picture would be useful.”

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Assaults Up On Campus?

This is a story that some may find shocking. It is about the federal report that shows an increase in campus assaults more than doubling at the University of Virginia University of Maryland.

Some are speculating that this is not actually an increase in the crime, but rather an increase in the number of people reporting crime. There’s an increase awareness of the issue and people are feeling more comfortable reporting it.

Colleges and universities have been making a conscious effort to raise awareness and make victims feel more comfortable reporting assaults.

In fact, VCU has made it mandatory for students to take an online course and learn about sexual violence and recognizing potentially dangerous situations.

Students accounts will be put on hold until they complete the course.

The report suggested most sexual assaults are occurring at parties and are often precipitated by drinking or drug use. Sometimes, victims are incapacitated. Most of the time, victims know the person who assaults them.

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Frats And Campus Assaults

This is a story out of the San Diego California area about the relationship between fraternities and campus assaults which are huge problem across the country.

“Sexual assaults involving fraternities is not a new problem. In fact, such assaults are high on the list of insurance claims against fraternities nationwide. But with the news media, lawmakers and the White House focusing on how universities handle these cases, some believe the culture and norms of campus Greek life will soon get even more scrutiny.”

Experts on the problem agree that the environment created by the Greek life one of competitive testosterone driven environment that is fueled by alcohol and casual sex is a key component in the sexual assault problem. So are the large-scale parties at fraternity houses, which can be ideal surroundings for predatory behavior.

It is just a fact that alcohol is predominant factor in close to 70% of all the cases of campus sexual assault. Victims often don’t report rapes at fraternity houses because of fear of retaliation from its members.

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Staying Safe And Avoiding Danger

From the ‘Daily Illini’, the campus newspaper at the University of Illinois comes this article about campus safety.

The article discusses the use of awareness as a major self-defense tool.

Fiesta said the Division of Public Safety provides self-defense classes, which discuss the importance of awareness. Awareness, according to Fiesta, provides a person with the ability to avoid possibly threatening situations.

“Awareness is about 90 percent of self-defense,” she said.

The Division of Public Safety offers a self-defense class for both men and women, called R.A.D, standing for Rape Aggression Defense system.

Fiesta said the women’s class, “Rape Aggression Defense,” teaches preventative skills like how to avoid places where a crime may likely be committed, verbal defense and techniques to increase motor skills.

Looking a suspicious person in the eye can help prevent being attacked as well, according to William Smoot, University police sergeant. This makes the suspect aware that the person could identify them if needed.

However, students may become the victim of crimes of a different type. For other crime prevention, Smoot said situations like theft can be avoided by something as simple as keeping doors locked at all times.

Murphy recalled a night when he was accidently sprayed with pepper spray. Along with his sergeant, Murphy was pursuing and closing in on a suspect, but the sergeant used pepper spray and hit both Murphy and the suspect.

Instead, it gives the person using it the opportunity to escape. To be effective, it needs to hit the assailant directly in the eyes.

Murphy said that pepper spray can still be useful. One such advantage is that there are pepper sprays available that have a band, allowing people to hold it in their hands while walking and making the weapon face the right direction.

He said he also recommended pepper spray that cannot accidently be pressed if in a backpack or purse and includes a piece on top that allows people holding it to know where to place their fingers.

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