Let’s Talk Sex(ual Assault on College Campuses)
On June 3rd, a rape victim shared the harrowing story of her assault in an open letter to her rapist. In her statement, she revealed details of her treatment following the vicious attack, the additional trauma she experienced during the trial and her utter dismay at the judge’s light sentencing—The attacker was convicted of 3 felonies, but was only sentenced to a mere 6 months in a county jail.
This horrifying event brought many issues to light: The harmful effects of privilege in our justice system, the shameful treatment of assault victims and the ever-growing epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses.
According to a 2015 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, the most up-to-date and comprehensive study of its kind, 25% of young women and 7% of young men have been victims of sexual assault while attending college in our country. Rape, sexual violence, and unwanted sexual incidents are becoming a burgeoning epidemic in the ever-growing hook-up culture of today’s youth. Two-thirds of these victims claim to have consumed alcohol prior to the assault, and it seems as though the lines of consent may be becoming increasingly blurred for the college-aged youth of our nation. The rising trend of casual sex, coupled with the presence of fraternities and sororities on college campuses, makes sexual assault more of an institutionalized staple than ever before.