Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Of those victims, only 54% of sexual assaults are reported to the police and only 3% of rapists ever spend a day in jail. (Statistics: RAINN)
These are depressing statistics, but thanks to the efforts of a group of survivor-activists, there is hope for the future with the launch of Know Your IX, a campaign that aims to educate all college students in the United States about their rights under Title IX, the landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education. The site offers survivors resources to report assaults, change policies at their college campus, support victims and spread the word about sexual violence.
My hope is that Know Your IX will help students file complaints at some of the biggest offenders when it comes to dealing with sexual assaults on college campuses.
Take a look at some of the worst offenders below.
1. University of California, Berkeley
After being raped on campus by a fellow classmate, Aria Mostov said the following of her school’s handling of her sexual assault: ”The process made me feel raped a second time.”
Not only did the school inaccurately record her testimony, saying that when she told her assailant to stop he did (which she reports he did not), the police then declined to investigate and she was forced to attend class with her alleged rapist five days a week for an entire semester. Mostov filed another complaint, even showing a recording of her alleged rapist confessing, but the case dragged on for six months and was ultimately dropped.
Mostov is not alone. The Student Coalition Against Rape (SCAR) at the school held a news conference last month reporting that the school ”grossly mishandles sexual assaults and rapes on its campus.”
“Students who go to receive counseling are promised services they never receive, they’re not informed of their rights, they’re not treated with the same respect and they’re not provided the same material as the students accused of raping them,” said Tucker Reed, co-founder of SCAR and a survivor of rape herself.
2. University of North Carolina
When the University of North Carolina was facing increasing reports of sexual assaults on campus, they found the perfect solution: pressure the assistant dean of students to underreport.
That’s exactly what happened to Melinda Manning, then UNC’s assistant dean of students,who spent the majority of her time serving as an ally for sexual assault victims. When she refused to cooperate, Manning endured a hostile work environment for the next two years directed mostly by her supervisor who canceled meetings without notice, failed to respond to emails and ultimately lashed out with threats. Eventually she resigned after working at UNC for 11 years.
Manning and three UNC students, as well as a former student, have come forward to file a complaint against the school with the U.S. Department of Education claiming the university violated the rights of sexual assault victims and facilitated a hostile environment for students reporting sexual assault.
“I’m filing because I don’t want anyone else to have to experience what I did because of the negligence of the University and their failure to acknowledge the importance of survivors’ needs,” said one of the victims in the case.
3. University of Southern California
When a student at the University of Southern California reported being raped to campus police she was told that the assault wasn’t actually considered rape because the assailant did not orgasm.
When another student reported being sexually assaulted at a fraternity event, she was told by an officer that women should not “go out, get drunk and expect not to get raped.”
Clearly, USC is mishandling reports of sexual assault on their campus. Luckily, several students have taken matters into their own hands filing a Title IX complaint against the school for their failure to respond promptly to complaints of harassment on campus and prosecute rape.
Tucker Reed, the lead complainant, provided an audio recording of her boyfriend admitting to raping her and the school still dismissed her case saying that the goal was to offer an “educative” process, not to “punish” the assailant.
“The problems are rampant within every department, pretty much every service on campus,” said Reed. “There is an overwhelming disregard for women and students going through obvious trauma, and they traumatized them further.”
Read more: assault, college, Know Your IX, rape, sexual, sexual harrassment, Swarthmore College, title ix, University of California Berkeley, university of north carolina, University of Southern California, violence against women, Wesleyan University, yale, yale university
Photo credit: Photo by Shaun Greiner used under a Creative Commons license.
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