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Colleges Respond to Poll Showing 20 Percent of Female Students Sexually Assaulted

Colleges Respond to Poll Showing 20 Percent of Female Students Sexually Assaulted
Chris Bernardi

Students attending colleges and universities across the United States in 2015 can look forward to new U.S. regulations aimed to protect them against a rising rate of sexual assaults on campus. In attempt to increase responsibility for ending sexual assaults on campus, American colleges and universities will have to follow stricter reporting requirements for sexual assault allegations. In addition, they must provide clear options to those who report an incident of suspected abuse and provide prevention training for students and college employees.

The measures, provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, went into effect July 1st. The new regulations were fueled by several studies and polls showing a drastic spike in sexual assault rates across American college campuses. In a poll that was released last month by the Washington Post and The Kaiser Family Foundation, results showed 20 percent of female and five percent of male college students had been victims of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses during the past four years. The poll surveyed over 1,000 people that either attended or lived on or near a campus and more than 500 colleges across the country.

Tracy Sefl, a board member of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in America believes “increased awareness has led to increased recognition of the problem.”

By increasing awareness, advocates of the new regulations hope to flip the script on the astonishing findings that only 12 percent of sexual assault victims report the attacks to their college or local police. Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, explains the dilemma a victim faces. “We know that most victims were assaulted by a friend or partner, and there can be a lot of confusion and doubt that comes along with that experience, and hesitation to report [someone] you know or love.”

Do you feel the negative stigma attached to sexual assault victims should bear enough weight to deter them from reporting the crime? Would you feel comfortable reporting a friend or loved one to the university or police? Why or why not?

Comments (5)
Stacy V. 7/21/2015
I would like to say I am personally a victim of sexual assault & rape. I don't like the word victim, I believe I am a VICTOR as well as anyone else who withstands continuing to live with this traumatic experience. Sadly, sexual assaults occur anywhere, at anytime, with anyone. It's vital to speak up if this happens to you. There's nothing to be ashamed of, It's not your fault but the person who sexual assaulted you. I tended to blame myself for "putting myself in that situation" or so I thought. But you can get yourself out of this hole, tell a loved one.... tell a friend. PLEASE. I thought It'd turnout a mess, people would judge & look at me differently. But again, It's not your fault. Be victorious. Stay strong beautiful souls.
p.c komathi 7/11/2015
I am ex army daughter....i am.studying colloge in maths mmes womens arts and science pls give the sclorship
xafso 7/10/2015
Helps me
Graysha R. 7/9/2015
More and more people are victimized towards sexual assult every week. It can happen jus any where , even in your own home. Sad to say but not every one gets the help or isnt being helped unless some one says something or was there during the situation of the sexual assult. I believe those who witnesses or are victims to sexual assult should tell some one, even someone who they can trust because if situations like this arent be told or spoke about , it'll never end it will continue and the percentage of victims will increase even more. Who says the right decisions are ever easy. If i was in this situation of sexual assult, i know it wouldn't be easy for me to get help or tell some one about it but i would do my best to do so, even if i felt weird, uncomfortable, scared or even unsure . The reason why i would tell some one about it even if im just a witness is because i wouldn't want to the situation to continue but also for it doesnt happen to another person . If it took me or any one to say something then number of victims could decrease indicating the sexual assult could be stopped more even stop from happening to the next person. If any one i mean any one who runs into this kind of situation or know someone who did or is in this situation SPEAK UP because it takes one voice to change something.
Madison M 7/8/2015
I personally have been a victim of a sexual assault so I know first hand the effects of it. Of course I can not speak for all victims, but I know for me it was humiliating that I had been raped. I was afraid that if I told people they would judge me and label me as "the girl who got raped" instead of seeing me for the kind of person I am. I was also afraid that people would blame me for putting myself in that situation. It is hard to tell family and close friends, much less the police. It was over a year of carrying that burden around with me and letting it haunt me before I finally spoke up. My family made me report it to the authorities and after another year of court hearings and meetings, my perpetrator was let go. He got off free for holding me against my will and traumatizing me in ways that no one will understand unless they have experienced it. I believe that our society does not take sexual assault as seriously as it should, and I believe it's about time for people to start standing up for the many victims of this crime.
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