As parents we send young folk to college to grow and learn. Naiveté and alcohol lay in wait as tinder for trouble. It's important to understand this and examine it, and find ways to stem it so that there are less victims and less young men whose futures have been derailed by an ill-advised, momentary capitalization on impulse.
Recently, journalists from across the country have rushed to defend campus rapists and allowed men's rights activists to successfully infiltrate op-ed columns. For those of us who are survivors of sexual assault, we haven't been nearly as lucky.
It's true, most of us will never have the resources to be major financial players in political campaigns. Our advocacy lies in our voice, and in our wallets.
Perhaps George Will has other "points" to make. Perhaps George Will has a different concept of "coveted status" than much of the sane and compassionate world does.
The written word is a vehicle for social change. The stroke of a pen can incite a call to action against unquestioned forms of injustice. For decades, journalism has been used as a medium to advance women's rights movements.
We know that a coordinated community response -- one that relies on partnerships with student groups, campus police, community victim services organizations, campus ministries, and school officials -- is what is required to turn the tide on this issue.
Cases involving drugs or alcohol may be challenging to investigate if the victim is impaired. But that makes it all the more important to conduct a thorough investigation to put the evidence together.
We need to stop presenting college as a time when women can and should be getting perfect grades, have legendary social lives and universally satisfying sexual experiences and instead present it as a nuanced experience full of all kinds of emotional, psychological and academic experiences that are different for women.
We whisper and gossip. We hope our daughters are not rounding up their girlfriends to go to parties like this. We hope our sons wouldn't drop a roofy, rohypnol, into the glass of an unsuspecting girl with the express intent of raping her. We hope.
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.