“When it comes to sexual assault and rape, the norm for universities and colleges is to downplay the situation and the numbers,” said University of Kansas law professor Corey Rayburn Yung, in a 2015 Think Progress article. Two years later, US colleges and universities continue to downplay the extent of sexual assault reported by students, Madison Monzon reports in the Miami Dade College Reporter. “It is a harrowing reality,” she writes, “that so many women and men who have experienced sexual assault are told that their pain and suffering is not nearly as important as the school’s reputation.”
The federal Clery Act requires schools to report the number of crimes that occur on their campuses. These crimes include rape and sexual assault cases. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, an estimated one in every five women will experience some sort of sexual assault while in college. If these results were properly recorded, the hidden rape culture would be exposed and countered. The real question is, why are these cases under reported? What do universities want to protect? Monzon reports that, in a one instance, “The University of Tennessee recently settled a nearly 2.48 million-dollar lawsuit that claimed they turned a blind eye toward sexual assault accusations in order to preserve the reputation of their football players.”
“Although many schools are making conscious efforts to halt sexual assault,” Monzon concludes, “we are still living in a time where many students fear the possibility of being assaulted on their own campuses.”
Source: Madison Monzon, “Hidden Rape Culture Has Become a Pattern in Universities,” Miami Dade College Reporter, December 5, 2016, http://www.mdcthereporter.com/hidden-rape-culture-become-pattern-universities/.
Student Researcher: Lucia Llona (University of Vermont)
Faculty Evaluator: Rob Williams (University of Vermont)