Rape is endemic on American college campuses. The U.S. Department of Justice “estimates that 1 out of 5 college women will be assaulted,” according to NPR. That statistic is highly alarming. Young women are at college to learn. Unfortunately one of the things they seem to be learning is that rape is far too common.
Rape is a crime of violence. It is about power and wanting to harm another person. Rapists are sociopaths. They derive pleasure from harming women.
Keep an Eye on Safety
Let someone know if the doors to the dorm are not locked. Keep an eye on safety as you go about your life. Don’t reveal personal information to strangers. Don’t leave parties or bars with strangers and don’t walk around alone late at night. Even the safest college campus may become unsafe after dark. Don’t invite strangers into your apartment or dorm room. Even the nicest guy may change when alone with you. Violence is a crime of opportunity.
Put Down the Drink
Frat parties and house parties are notorious for heavy drinking. It is never safe to be drunk at a party. Put down the drink and keep your wits about you. Getting drunk endangers your safety and makes it easier for predators to take advantage of you.
No Means No
No means no. If a woman tells a rapist NO and he continues to try to assault her that is a rape. Rapists do not care about the feelings of the woman they are attacking. They dehumanize women by ignoring their word of NO and continuing on to rape her. Rape is a crime. Rape must be reported to the police.
Report the Crime
Rape is a crime. The crime should be reported immediately. Tell your friends what happened and report the crime to the police. Do not just report the crime to the college. Also report the rape to the police in town. Officially get the crime documented and let the police start a criminal investigation. Rapists will rape again if their crimes are not reported. Do the right thing and tell the police.
Reach out for Help
Contact rape survivor hotlines and support groups to get help as you recover from the rape. Do not keep the rape a secret. That is terribly emotionally damaging and hinders recovery. Call the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or go to http://rainn.org.
Let people help you. Do not withdraw and keep the rape your private information. Your friends and family should know about the rape; let them comfort and help you.
Demand that College Rapists be Expelled
Speak up and tell the college that the rapist should be expelled. A young man who has committed a violent rape against another student no longer belongs on the college campus.
If the college refuses to expel the rapist speak out. Tell local newspapers you would like them to cover the story. Write letters to Senators asking them to create laws that rapists should be expelled from the college where the crime was committed.
Colleges are too lenient with rapists. It is long past time for colleges to get tough with rapists. They must make it very clear to all incoming students that committing a rape while a student will result in expulsion.
A student who has been raped is traumatized. Having to see the rapist all over campus only makes the recovery period even more difficult. Colleges need to think about the safety of the rape survivor too and of other students too. Rapists must be expelled from campus; to do otherwise is to endanger the student population.
Remember, a College is a Business
Most colleges are a for profit business. Thus, sometimes they care more about profits than people. Colleges sometimes try to cover up violent crimes like rape and murder. Some administrators are dishonest with parents. They lie to parents to try to protect the reputation of the college. This is reprehensible. However, it does happen, probably quite frequently.
Check Crime Statistics When Choosing a College
When students and parents are evaluating college choices, it is important to check the crime statistics for each college of interest. For information about how to research crime on college campuses and specific crime statistics for each college go to: http://ope.ed.gov/security.
Too Many Rapes
With 1 in 5 young women being raped on college campuses this is a security nightmare. This statistic is unacceptable. What is wrong in our society that so many men feel it is okay to rape women? With rape kits festering too long in the legal system before they are even analyzed and cops too often hesitant to pursue rape cases, what message does that send to a woman who has been rape?
Rape is a very serious crime. Our society needs to step up and hold rapists accountable. They cause unimaginable physical and emotional pain to women. Rapists need to be fully prosecuted and expelled from college.