It Can Happen Anywhere

paolabaileyblog

paolabaileyblog

The recent allegations of rape and other charges against four Morehouse students have prompted this blog to once again address the issue of violence and sexual assault. We did not mince words when the high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and while we know these young men are innocent until proven guilty, it is an opportunity to remind readers of the violence that can happen on a college campus.  This post is not about guilt or innocence it is about the growing danger of sexual assault on college campuses that has forced the U.S. Department of Education to implement guidelines when assaults take place. The federal Violence Against Women Act, signed into law in March by President Obama, requires colleges and universities to adopt policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence

And here is why:

§  One in 5 college women are raped during their college years.

§  One in 12 college men admitted to committing acts that met the legal definition of rape.

§  81% of on-campus and 84% of off-campus sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

§  In a survey of students at 171 institutions of higher education, alcohol was involved in 74% of all sexual assaults.

Every student has the right and no doubt most parents have an expectation that their child will be safe on a college campus as a student. The two-fold issue with rape and assault on college campuses now involves reporting the rape/assault and the action taken by the university or college once it is reported, before a court has determined guilt or innocence.

Some recent incidents at colleges around the country have been horrific, from a Wesleyan University fraternity house that was known as the “rape factory”, a Amherst College student who wrote about her rape in the student newsletter to a poster that was hung in the bathrooms at Miami University in Ohio that was titled “Top Ten Ways to Get Away With Rape”.

Wherever it happens, rape and sexual assault is violence against another person and it is unacceptable.  A culture that protects it, denies it or ignores it—is also unacceptable. While there are a number of lessons we have to teach young people everyday, we have to begin the grueling task of teaching respect and dignity for human life.

Comments

  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    I’m confident that no reasonable person disagrees with you about this all too familiar subject.
    I am however equally disturbed the Morehouse authorities tried to keep both incidents under wraps, even within the AUC complex, and succeeded for almost two months.

  2. shirley says:

    That would be unfortunate, if true. Each of us regardless of our position or fear of unpopularity must take swift action to confront the problems of assault, injustice and abuse as they occur. Watching silently or ignoring the problems is unacceptable. We agree the first step to solving problems is acknowledging them.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      It is unfortunate and it is true.
      Morehouse released a statement last Wednesday afternoon that stated in part, “”In March, there were two alleged assault incidents involving Morehouse students.”
      It is now May.

  3. Shirley says:

    Ok. Didn’t doubt you.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      It’s a fine line the authorities must walk. On one side, no one wants a rush-to-judgement media circus like the one created at Duke University. On the other side, it is a public matter and should not be covered up.