Rape And The College Campus

Despite what colleges might want you to think, rape and sexual assault on campuses across the United States are running rampant. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted while in college, and the number of attacks continues to rise. Why does sexual assault permeate our colleges and why won’t the universities stop it?

One of the main reasons instances of rape are increasing on college campuses is because authorities apparently have a problem defining it. Stanford Athlete Brock Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, yet, according to the law, he is not technically a rapist. Turner penetrated his victim with only his finger and California law defines that as sexual assault with a foreign object. This ruling does not only mean a lighter jail sentence for a rapist, but it also signals to others like him that the courts will go easy on them.

In 2012 the Obama administration changed the FBI’s definition of a rapist to include any penetration with any body part or object. Under these guidelines, Turner would be a rapist, yet many states, like California, set their own definitions.

Turner being a student-athlete also played a role in his appallingly short sentence. Athletic events tend to bring in a ton of money for Universities, so they tend to sweep issues concerning athletes, including sexual assault, under the rug.

But to give colleges the benefit of the doubt, maybe they don’t believe that the problem is as big as it really is. 4 out of 5 sexual assault victims know their attacker and, either out of fear or manipulation, they don’t report their assault. Women especially worry that they will not be believed or that they will be blamed for the assault, and so choose to remain quiet. This has to stop.

By denying or ignoring the issue, colleges are not only allowing rape to continue, but they are encouraging its growth. People see that others are not punished for sexual assault and somehow deduce that sexual assault must be acceptable behavior.