Hello! If you all are visiting my site from Craig and Katy’s project, the Art of Survival, thank you for taking an interest in ending sexual assault. If you have not already, do check out their project about sexual assault during the month of April. We all want the same thing: to bring awareness to sexual assault.
Did you know April is Sexual Assault Awareness month? I didn’t either until Craig reached out to me about sharing my story on the Art of Survival project. In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness month, I have committed to 30 days of writing about sexual assault. I know this is going to be particularly emotional for me at times, but if I’m quiet, he wins, and the cycle continues with new victims like me.
Yesterday, I finally watched the Hunting Ground. It’s a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, the inaction or lax actions by the institutions, and those who are fighting against the bureaucracy.
Colleges and universities have chosen to violate the Cleary Act and Title IX.
Sexual assault doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s just the nature of the beast when you get people together from this culture: where sexual assault has not been addressed, where sexual promiscuity has been pinned on females, and sexual desire said to be something ingrained in the biology of males.
Less than 8% of men on campus commit 90% of campus sexual assaults. Repeat offenders commit an average of 6 or more sexual assaults (Lisa & Miller, 2002). These statistics do not include females as offender or males as victims, but that does not mean that does not occur or is any less of an issue!
We need to break the belief that women are possessions, here to pleasure men, and men cannot help their “biological predisposition” of uncontrollable sexual desire. Society needs to stop accepting and promoting the sexually aggressive behaviors of men.
Just because a woman says no, and because you had sex, those are the two facts: a woman said no and you had sex, then are you a rapist automatically because of that?!
– male student from Brown in historic footage
Yes, Brown student, yes, that makes you a rapist. We also need to quit the cycle of reaffirming that rapists are creepy dudes who lurk in bushes at dusk! Beyond teaching people that “nice people” don’t rape, it reaffirms this belief that if I’m an all around nice person, I did not rape this person. It was just a “miscommunication.” Rapists can be your friends: 4 out of 5 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
Staggeringly, only 26% of rapes reported to police end in arrest, and only 20% of rapes are prosecuted (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 2010). Destruction of rape kits or not processing them occurs.
Colleges and universities need to have their crime stats as low as possible so it doesn’t detract from admissions, so they think. But, as seen with Senator McCaskill’s investigation into campus sexual assault, everyone has it. Accepting the problem and addressing it will not occur until higher education puts students before the bottom line.
Don’t even get me started on athletics: 4% of students on campus are athletes, they commit 19% of all campus sexual assaults. Entitlement. Period. They are “celebrities” which enhances their sense of entitlement and given such passes by administrators because of what they mean for the colleges or universities: admissions, donors, fame.
At Notre Dame, for example, campus police cannot approach students or athletic department members at the arenas, courts, or stadiums. Just look at the case of James Winston. He raped a woman, and with proof stacked up against him, Florida State University allowed him to play football, the State Attorney said he would not pursue charges, and Winston went on to be the 2015 top NFL draft pick. Athletics has a history of accepting the heinous behaviors of athletes. Make it stop.
Make sexual assault on your campus unacceptable. We are not only supposed to educate students with their subjects, but with how to be a person. If what we are doing now with sexual assault is how we’re educating them, we’re failing. We’re failing not only them, but the future society they are supposed to create.