“We are half way through April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and so far I’ve discussed the seriousness of rape and issues with prevention. These take a broad look at this crime and now I want to narrow the focus, by depicting a very real and bleak picture of the nature of rape on college campuses.””
We are half way through April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and so far I’ve discussed the seriousness of rape and issues with prevention. These take a broad look at this crime and now I want to narrow the focus, by depicting a very real and bleak picture of the nature of rape on college campuses.
Rana Sampson from the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, stated in 2003 that Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. It is doubtful that this has significantly changed in the last seven years.
Results from the National College Women Sexual Victimization Survey (NCWSV) , which was organized and administered by the Department of Justice within the last 10 years, showed that a university with 10,000 female students could experience up to 350 rapes a year. This survey also showed that one third of college women said they had unwanted or uninvited sexual contacts; 10 percent said they experienced rape; nine out of 10 offenders were known to the women; and less than 5 percent of completed or attempted rapes were reported.
The American Association for University Women also provides unfortunate statistics: 20 to 25 percent of college women will be raped or experience attempted rape during their college career; 75 percent of the time alcohol is involved; and 42 percent of college women who are raped don’t tell anyone about the assault.
Still, these statistics only provide an overview of a problem that sweeps across our nation’s college campuses, so I’ll sharpen the image even further and look briefly at more specific universities.
Data from the New York Times, Education Life section, Law and Order, from January 2008 showed that at Cincinnati, with an enrollment of 28,300, there were 10 incidents of forced sex; at the University of Pittsburgh, enrollment 26,900, 7 incidents; and at our university, The University of Akron, with enrollment at 21,900, 6 incidents. However, if 42 percent of college women who are raped don’t tell anyone, including police, then these figures are not an honest depiction of the actual rates of this crime.
This is not an attempt to make women at college, especially at our university, feel they are automatically a target. It is not meant to slander any of the universities where incidents have occurred. And I am definitely not trying to say that any of the universities are to blame for the problem. I am merely illustrating a very real issue on our college campuses, one that has very grave statistics and needs further attention, everywhere, not just here in Ohio, and not just at the University of Akron.
According to statistics, women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience rape four times more than the assault rate of all women. If this is true, then women’s college (and high school) years are times when they are the most vulnerable. So what are we doing about it? Or what should we be doing about it if we aren’t doing anything? Tune in next week and I will attempt to answer these vital questions.