Campus Sexual Assaults: Times Are Finally (Maybe) Changing
This paper was presented at the Education Law Association 60th Annual Conference, November 12-15, 2014 in San Diego, CA. More information can be found here: https://educationlaw.org/events/national-conference.
Sexual assault on college and university campuses is a serious problem nationwide. Although college men and women are sexually assaulted, college campuses may be particularly dangerous places for young women (Grey, 2014; Karjane, Fisher, & Cullen, 2002; McCaskill, 2014 ). The physical, mental, and emotional devastation a sexual assault can have on a victim is compounded by the fact that too many college-student victims must also confront the troubling reality of being re-victimized by their schools (Karjane, et al., 2002; Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher, & Martin, 2007 & 2009; McCaskill, 2014). Colleges and universities have discouraged reporting, made reporting difficult, failed to use effective penalties to hold perpetrators accountable, and have allowed student participation on sexual assault adjudication committees, further endangering alleged perpetrators and victims’ privacy. Victims also fear a ‘blame the victim’ mentality and reprisal for activities such as underage alcohol use preceding some assaults or for having “sex in the residence hall” in violation of campus policy (Karjane,et al. 2002; Lewis, Schuster, & Sokolow, 2010; McCaskill, 2014).