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Where is the help?
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Where is the help? | OP-ED

Universities, full of rapists. Between August and December, more than 50% of assaults occur. In 2021, 15% of female college students were sexually assaulted at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Sexual assault on college campuses are becoming more frequent and the support less likely. These students shouldn’t have to keep seeing the person who violated them out of fear that no action would be taken against the attacker. 

The University of Colorado Boulder’s (CBU) recent sexual assault survey shows fewer incidences occurred during the pandemic but the severity of assaults increased.

15% of undergraduate women were sexually assaulted in 2021 at CBU—the university’s response is to wait until next time they collect data to see where they are with this issue. 

However, students shouldn’t have to wait for more data to show abuse is happening at a frequent rate. The fact that one assault occurs is reason enough to implement new preventive measures to keep students safe, especially when 30% of assaults were at a Greek fraternity house as CBU’s recent survey finds.

What is the CBU doing to investigate whether this Greek fraternity is encouraging rape culture, because the lack of efforts makes them equally complicit as the perpetuators. 

The experience of each victim is different, but the feelings of violation remain the same. 

In recent weeks the University of Pittsburgh came under scrutiny for the way it has handled sexual assaults, prompting protest among students. 

Just as CBU, the same issue of sexual violence occurs more frequently at fraternities. This does not exclude on campus incidences as the one a student faced at Pitt, where she was sexually assaulted in a stairwell.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (Rainn) reports that certain times of the year sexual violence occurs at a higher rate— August, September, October, or November account for more than 50% of college assaults. The data is clear, conclusive, and extremely alarming. 

The data is not new but recurrent. Showing the same patterns of sexual violence that colleges and universities are overlooking. 

Let’s stop blaming the victims and focus on the ways institutions, law enforcement, and campuses continue to fail these students. 

What are the realistic efforts being made to stop these atrocities from reoccurring? If you ask me, none. 

Implementing new guidelines does not solve rape culture. Alerting students about assault on campus does not solve rape culture. The best way to address the issue is to find the source of the problem; which can vary by campus. 

Rainn reports that only 20% of female college students, ages 18-24 report sexual assaults to authorities and male victims don’t even consider it because of the stigma and shame.

Victims are more likely to develop mental health conditions like PTSD, especially when trying to navigate assault. This is only aggravated by Title IX, which generates further confusion among sexually abused victims. 

Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion—but fails to address stalking, a form of intimidation that endangers a person’s safety, leading to sustainable emotional distress. 

Although, the Department of Education (DOE) added stalking to the definition of sexual harassment, failing to acknowledge stalking as a form of sexual harassment. 

Therefore, the DOE has given colleges and universities the opportunity to only comply with the policies and procedures stipulated in the new guidelines, which draws more confusion to an already confusing and challenging process. 

College campuses are infested with rapists, who understand they will be able to get away with these assaults because school officials, law enforcements, and even DOE have failed to understand the needs of a sexually abused victim, and how to properly keep them safe.

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  • sexual harassment
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