Sexual Assault on Campus
By, Olivia Levis
The unspoken prevalence of sexual assault has become an immense topic in university safety around the nation. This month is sexual assault awareness month and universities are coming together to prevent the increasing issue of sexual assault on campus. Sexual assault occurs more frequently than one may think. According to Al Jazeera America, 20 to 25 percent of college women experience rape or attempted rape. The issue of sexual assault has become increasingly prevalent throughout the nations’ universities including Washington State University. According to The Daily Evergreen 30 cases of sexual assault have been reported since January 2013 at WSU and, according to Al Jazeera fewer than one in 20 completed and attempted rapes against college women are reported. Many students who have been sexually assaulted do not report the assault in fear of embarrassment. Many victims who have been assaulted do not report the crime because the attacker was someone they knew and they do not want to get them into trouble. According to The 2005 report “Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It” 80 to 90 percent of the victims were acquaintances with the attacker. Alcohol intoxication has been a large factor in the increase of sexual assault. Alcohol consumption occurs on campuses nationally. Kendra Van Den Top member of WSU Red Watch Band said “97,000 sexual assaults occur a year that are related to alcohol.” According to a 2004 report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol 72 percent of college rape victims were so intoxicated they could not consent to sex.
The university has become well aware of this issue and is taking action to try and prevent any further increase. Washington State University has taking action in educating students on not only what to do if the student is being sexually assault but what to do if you are a bystander in the situation. Megan Cole a student at WSU said “I think that it is really great that WSU is requiring all incoming freshman to take classes about sexual assault, that way they are all informed and know how to avoid and prevent the situation.” Alternatives to Violence in the Palouse and Green Dot are two programs that actively educate students about what to do when they are in a situation where they are being assaulted as well as what to do as a bystander and prevent the situation. Loren Hagstrom an advocate for the Green Dot program said “the bystanders are the ones who can stop it from happening because usually the victim has no control over the situation.” Washington State University is not the only school that is taking action and educating their students about sexual assault. Kent State University, Lake Forest College, Virginia Western Community College, and Kansas State University are other universities that are known for taking action to prevent sexual assault. It is very important for universities to continue to educate students on sexual assault and prevention of sexual assault. By continuing the increasing the creation of educational programs will help decrease the issue.
Kendra Van Den Top