Quick Hit: Alexandra on ending rape culture on college campuses

Our own Alexandra has an important piece up at the Guardian today about the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses, and the shameful lack of support survivors tend to receive from campus administrations and even the federal government:

When someone attempted to rape me my freshman year, I asked my college, Yale University, for help, but instead I was basically advised to keep quiet. I shouldn’t formally report the assault, I was told. Despite my clear and repeated “no”, school administrators cast the whole event as a misunderstanding among friends.

In short, I was told to be a good girl. And for four years, I listened.

It’s doubly dangerous that these same expectations of accommodation have infected the Education Department, charged with protecting students from just such abuses. The department knows sexual violence is rampant on American campuses. It has investigated dozens of schools based on student complaints, uncovering blatantly illegal abuses: survivors are told not to report their crimes by school administrators, threatened with expulsion if they speak about their experiences, and forcibly institutionalized.

Yet even in the face of such violations, the Education Department almost always chooses to avoid legal action or fines against schools by accepting administrators’ promises to do better in the future. That’s exactly what happened with our complaint to Yale University. There wasa resolution where Yale agreed to do better, and the Department of Education accepted that even though it found that the university didn’t have adequate procedures for reporting or addressing sexual harassment and assault.

You can read the full article here.

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