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Fri Jul 25, 2014, 06:12 AM

Spotlights and Solutions for College Rape


Spotlights and Solutions for College Rape
By Veena Trehan (about the author)
OpEdNews Op Eds 7/24/2014 at 13:23:21

Kudos to The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and Huffington Post for their continued focus on campus sexual violence. July 13's New York Times devoted much of A1 and a full page spread to the disturbing narrative of Hobart and William Smith freshman which echoes other student rapes. Anna and witnesses described her rape, photographed by other students, by members of the school's popular football team. After accusing them she was harassed. The attackers' stories changed at least twice. Anna did not receive justice: the college investigative panel missed key evidence and asked inane questions, clearing them in under two weeks, and a criminal case was quickly dismissed despite DNA evidence. Fortunately campus action is leading to the reevaluation of school policies.

The security of female college students is too often an issue.

Yes colleges are a toxic brew of hormones, inadequate supervision, alcohol abuse and poor judgment. Yet universities are poorly equipped to deal with assaults -- estimated as affecting one in five girls -- that occur on their campuses. A recent national survey by Senator Claire McCaskill's office found that 40 percent of schools had not investigated any assaults in five years, one-fifth don't train faculty and staff and one-third students.

Fortunately government and campuses are taking significant steps to address an often discriminatory and hostile climate. A White House Task Force released recommendations in April. Dartmouth held a summit with representatives from 60 schools earlier this month. Collegiate best practices have significant potential to curb such violence:


The country that sent a man to the moon, fought two World Wars, and passed universal health care is up to the task of dramatically reducing campus rape. Young women's bodies must be protected as they improve their opportunities and minds.

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