Friday, June 26, 2015

You Learn A Lot of Lessons

A very powerful article from the Washington Post on June 12, 2015.  Like most stories about sexual violence on college campuses, this one slid below the radar nationally and fell through the cracks of public conversation outside a few, select circles.  It should have been front page news – instead it was lost nationally while we talked about Kylie Jenner, another Kardashian pregnancy, and the latest presidential bid by another GOP pretender to the throne (how many are we up to now – at least 30 or 40).

The poll - conducted by the Washington Post – Kaiser Family Foundation – found that while 20% of women on college campuses were sexually violated, the “circle of victims” is probably much larger.
Everything there is to say is found within the article, but there are a couple of key points worth emphasizing:

  • The poll found evidence that myths about sexual assault persist among students despite efforts in recent years to dispel them. Six in 10 women said it was a common attitude on their campuses that if a woman is sexually assaulted while drunk she is “at least somewhat responsible.”

  • Nearly 6 in 10 women also said it was commonly believed that when women go to parties wearing revealing clothes, they are “asking for trouble.”

  • One man’s quote when discussing a friend’s rape cuts to the heart of the collective attitude about sexual violence on campus:  “There’s a difference between having drunk, regrettable sex, and being raped.”
Please take the time to read.  Then make the time to do something.


  1. Such an important issue, but we are finally starting to tackle this systematically. OVAW will begin mandating that college campuses track (beyond Clery reporting) how women themselves feel and the context within which assaults occur. You're right; if the public were better informed, progress could be made much more rapidly.

    I remember walking the college tours with my oldest several years ago and asking about safety/women's assault issues. Tour guides knew nothing. Nothing. With 1:5 (which is really more like 1:4 or 1:3), we should be ashamed.

    1. You are absolutely right.

      As you and I have both witnessed (and been a part of re; Twitter battles), one of the biggest hurdles will be changing the attitude of so many that:
      A. Sexual violence on campus is real
      B. Women aren't "asking for it"