Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sexual assault is about the victim not the school’s reputation

It seems sexual assault ‘embarrasses’ certain types of institutions; professional sports and college campuses. What bothers me about the college campus is that it is supposed to be a place of learning and enlightenment, so they should know better.

Instead of absolute outrage at the fact that students were sexually assaulted on a campus, we get outrage that the campus’ good name might be tarnished, we get spin control, we get threats of retaliation; but we do not get a serious solution.

It is great that the schools have policies on sexual assault and that on paper they take it very seriously. However, a piece of paper is not going to protect the victim; they can wave it all they want but it will not help them.

What are schools doing to put absolute fear in potential rapists? What are schools doing to change the culture to the point where rape becomes a distant memory of barbaric times instead of an everyday occurrence?

“Spotlight on Campus Responses to Rape Puts Presidents in a Bind”

“When seven current and former students at the University of Connecticut filed a federal complaint last month alleging that the university had failed to protect them from sexual assault, the response from the president there was brusque”.

“"Astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue," the president, Susan Herbst, deemed the allegations in remarks to the Board of Trustees. "I completely reject the notion that UConn somehow doesn't care about these all-important issues, because nothing could be further from the truth. I cannot speak to the motivations of the people who have suggested this."”

“The reaction to her comments, on the campus and beyond, was scathing. "Tone-Deaf," declared a headline in The Courant, a Hartford newspaper. "Defensive" and "surprisingly dismissive," a state senator said. One of the students who had filed the original complaint, with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, posted the president's comments and a plea for advice on a private Facebook page for anti-rape activists. Her word for the president's remarks: "violent."”

“In the weeks since, the university has found itself in a harsh spotlight’

Two steps forward three steps back. It is about the student; please keep them safe, that is all.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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