Campus Assaults Getting New Ideas For Solutions
One of the hottest topics in this decade has been about sexual assaults on college campuses. It is finally getting some much-needed attention, even the White House has chimed in. Not that it’s a new problem, because it’s as old as the hills.
Many solutions have been offered, all of them well-meaning but most of them impractical.
To give you some examples, recently there was a proposed solution that female students on campus be allowed to carry handguns. The threat of deadly violence should stop any assailant. The problem is that most females are won’t go to the trouble of becoming trained properly to use a handgun so that it becomes an effective deterrent.
Another proposed solution recently was to ban drinking on college campuses. Alcohol is involved in almost 70% of all campus sexual assaults. Can you remember the prohibition days? That made selling alcohol illegal but it didn’t stop people from drinking it anyhow.
This is a hot topic on our blog too. We have a lot of avid readers who are anxious to hear what we have to say. In two of our articles we highlight what the problems are and how far they extend.
The first one is called Colleges Finally Held Accountable where we say:
- “As many young women as one out of four on the low end and one out of three on the high-end, have been sexually assaulted at some point in her four years at a college or university;
- The assailant is known to the victim in close to 90% of the cases. They are more than likely classmates or live in the same dorm;
- Alcohol or drugs are involved in over 70% of the cases.”
- Over 40% of all institutions hadn’t conducted a single investigation of sexual assault in the last five years.
- 43% of the nation’s largest public schools allow students to sit in judgment on sexual assault cases.
- 22% of institutions permit athletic departments to have oversight in sexual assault cases involving student athletes.
- Over 30% of schools do not provide any type of sexual assault training for their students.
- 21% of institutions do not provide sexual assault response training to their faculty and staff.
- 33% of schools did not provide basic sexual assault training to the people who adjudicate claims of sexual assault.
- 30% of all law enforcement officials at the institutions received no training on responding to sexual violence reports.
- Only 16% of schools conduct surveys of students to assess attitudes towards sexual assaults on campus.
- The perps were often multiple offenders.”
Earlier this year the Ford Foundation funded a new survey of 2,314 18-35 year olds. When is the results of the survey show that a large majority believes sexual assault is common on college campuses three fourths of those surveyed (73%) say that sexual assault is somewhat or very common at the college level. Six of 10 respondents say that universities and colleges are not doing enough to address the issue.
According to this story from the state of Delaware, proposed legislation by a bipartisan group of women legislators would require all campus sexual assaults be reported to Law Enforcement Agencies.To us that is an interesting proposal. We have recognized this part of the puzzle for a long time. In most instances campus assaults are handled internally by campus authorities. Do they have a dog in the fight? Of course they do! It is in their best interest to keep campus sexual assaults the dark secret. The reputation of the University, fundraising ability and enrollment are greatly affected by negative press. We applaud this legislation and encourage other states to follow suit. If colleges and universities are really concerned about the issues of reputation, fundraising and enrollment then perhaps they should do a better job of prevention.
In all states sexual assault is a felony and would look very bad on a student’s record. We feel that alone would be deterrent enough to lessen if not eliminate campus sexual assaults.
Boys will be boys and drinking on campus is never going away. But if young men understand that they may end up in jail and have a felony crime on their record, they may think twice about assaulting a young woman.
Now as it stands in most universities and colleges, a student tribunal is held where the assailant, if he is found guilty, may be expelled for a semester at the very worst; but in most cases there is nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
All too frequently the victim and the assailant live in the same dorm and attend many classes together forcing the victim to relive this terrible experience on a regular basis.
This item from the Washington Post relates the story of the Penn State sophomore who concluded after attending a fraternity party where unlimited beer, drugs and peer pressure led her to believe that females shouldn’t Go Upstairs where most of the sexual assaults occur.
And finally this story about African-American women talks about a study by the Black Women’s Blueprint, a New York-based human rights organization, which reports that 60% of Women Of Color-black girls and women-report having experienced “coercive contact of a sexual nature” by the age of 18.
If there is no meaningful consequence to these assaults, there is no fear in doing them.
One thing remains clear, that while all the talk is going on women continue to be assaulted. Carrying a handgun is not going to solve the problem. But knowing how to use a nonlethal self-defense product such as one of our pepper sprays can prevent an assault.
We have 185 pepper sprays to choose from but this Streetwise brand model Key Chain Pepper Spray is our most popular by far. It has enough oleoresin capsicum in the 3/4 fl ounce canister to fire 5-7 feet with 7-9 one-second bursts.
Have you ever been assaulted while in college? Share your experience! What did you do about it?