According to the Rape & Incest National Network, 11.2% of all college students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation. 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91% of rape/sexual assault victims are female; 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college; and more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assult.
When being raped or sexually assaulted is a constant threat to women in particular and women are still expected to continue their studies and take themselves seriously, there exists a problem needing to be addressed.
Having approached Peck University fellow administrators many times for many years and being told some version of “they’re asking for it” over and over again and seeing no change, I hope that this blog will encourage change by shining a light on the area requiring it. I do understand that I will lose my job over this.
Please find below a list of literal responses I’ve received when recounting stories of sexual assault and rape from female students who pay over $30,000 a year to be students at this university, none of which is refundable when a traumatizing (preventable) experience causes them to drop out early:
- Why was she out partying? She’s underage. She’s just lucky she didn’t get arrested, ticketed, or put on academic probation for indecent conduct. In fact, I’d like to discuss placing her on academic probation, we don’t want the country to view our girls this way.
- Just don’t make a big deal out of it. Do we have some university subsidized counseling? Send her to the medical office.
- He’s on the swim team and his father is a big donor. She’s a B- student. Moving on.
- Gloria please, stop putting these issues on the agenda.
Now I understand that bringing these issues up provides an opportunity for them to be ignored. This is why I’ve been asked to stop including them on meeting agendas or they’ve mysteriously disappeared from the agendas.
But when 91% of assault is against women and 90% of these events are not reported to authorities, the university must assume responsibility for protecting those who pay to be students there. And I’m making it my mission to advocate for this kind of protection. Women are valuable members of society who are systematically denied basic human rights in many sections of their lives, disproportionate to the opportunities available to men. To get to a place of gender equality, we need to start changing the ways we raise and educate both men and women while extending special protections to women until there is resolution within sight.