Did you know that one in four women on campus will suffer the violence of sexual assault? Why is the incidence of rape and sexual assault so high on university property? Because the administrators of the college elite have prioritized university reputation above safety and well-being of its women students.
Universities attempt to give the impression that they have adequately trained staff to deal with the complaint of an abused woman. The first thing they may do is discourage her from filing charges with the local police department, arguing that her reputation will be ruined, her parents will find out, and she will suffer from public exposure. The accused may be brought forward and questioned, and no criminal charges ever filed. The accused may be expelled for a year, or not at all, and even if expelled, be allowed to return to campus a year later where the young woman is still studying. This culture invites recidivism and a long list of future victims and victimization.
What no one is asking: why are universities in America thinking they have adequate training, resources and objectivity to investigate rape accusations? Have we created mini-sovereignities enowed with the right to adjudicate penal law crimes?
If someone is murdered on campus, does the school administration get to investigate and adjudicate the case? What about cases involving assault?
Why are crimes of violence against women treated differently? Is this one of the last vestiges of misogynistic and discriminatory treatment of women?
Universities should be like jurors eliminated from a jury pool for potential bias: they have a vested interest to disclaim acts of sexual violence to preserve the image of providing a safe environment and encouraging alumni support.
Teachers are mandated reporters of sex and abuse crimes against children. Likewise, the Federal Justice Department must make university officials mandated reporters of sex offenses so all charges are presented to the local police.
Only with prompt outcry and timely submission of rape and sexual violence charges and preservation of the rape kit, can the chain of evidence survive adequate prosecution of the rapist(s).
Having worked in the Albany County District Attorney’s Office in the Sex Crimes Unit, I am well-versed on how to advise a woman who has been sexually assaulted. If you know of anyone who has suffered this terrible violence, have them call me to discuss what the next step is to protect their rights: 518-893-0346.