Ending sexual assault is not a "women's issue," and until we change our thinking to include everyone in the effort, we won't begin to see a significant decline in this form of violence. This move toward a more inclusive community approach has gained traction in the last decade, a trend I've noticed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Sexual assaults are among the most difficult and complex cases in the criminal justice system. Allowing untrained amateurs to work on these cases is demeaning to victims and unfair to those accused. Then they should get out of the way and let professionals do the job.
I believe this form of victim-blaming, in which intoxicated individuals are deemed responsible for what happens to them, enables sexual assault of drunk and, especially, unconscious victims, to occur.
Media attention to what some call an epidemic -- hidden at times by low reporting rates, and contorted by stubborn norms about topics such as what informed consent means -- is helping to bring change.
UConn claims that they have mechanisms in place to ensure the rights of their female students, but I've been through that process, and it's not true. When I reported an assault, they encouraged me to stay silent about what I had seen.
Despite the actual assaults that have taken place there, students seemingly embrace the notorious "rape trail" as a notable part of campus culture. This doesn't just encourage rape culture; students are actively allowing problematic language and ideologies around rape culture on campus by using "rape trail" rhetoric and cheering it on.
I don't know why USC wouldn't welcome the opportunity to come clean -- as they have with these 13 overlooked assaults -- and set an example for other campuses in taking responsibility for their students' safety and sexual health.
Four and a half years ago I received my acceptance letter from Vanderbilt. At the time, I didn't know that a majority of my friends would become sexual assault survivors, or that I would be dedicating my life to a cause that I was personally affected by at this university.
I realized that you can't run away from problems like campus rape. It doesn't just happen at UNC, it's everywhere. The best thing that anyone can do is stay and fight with courageous, intelligent, empathetic people -- and that's what I'm proud to say I'll be doing at UNC this August.
Title IX guarantees students' civil right to an education unimpeded by violence and harassment. Our colleges unabashedly took advantage of our ignorance of our Title IX rights -- and this past year's headlines suggest that our experiences are not unique.
In response to the scrutiny that Amherst College has undergone in the media, they've found it necessary to bring about a new reform to the way they handle sexual misconduct on campus.
Why do so few survivors of sexual assault report their experiences? Many survivors are told that whatever happens to them is their fault, a message which is continually reinforced by friends, media, community groups, and university administrators.