Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. Researchers believe that college rape prevention programs are insufficient. I do not at ALL wish to suggest that the they are not making a difference, personally I felt extremely supported by my university and the resources they offered. The situation I fear is that a strong emphasis on the problem will be denied by college administration who fear that it will discourage potential students and their parents from attending their school on the presumption that rape occurs more often at their college than others.
The common assumptions maintained by our society on college rape situations are:
- That the rapist made a one-time, bad decision.Psychologist David Lisak has conducted research that directly opposes this view. “They are very forthcoming,” he says. “In fact, they are eager to talk about their experiences. They’re quite narcissistic as a group — the offenders — and they view this as an opportunity, essentially, to brag.”
Lisak found, over a 20-year period, asking some 2,000 men in college questions like this: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated [on alcohol or drugs] to resist your sexual advances?”
Or: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with an adult when they didn’t want to because you used physical force [twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.] if they didn’t cooperate?”
About 1 in 16 men answered “yes” to these or similar questions.
And these dudes who admit to having sex with people against their will?
They don’t define what they did as “rape.”
What Lisak found was that students who commit rape on a college campus are pretty much like rapists in prison. In both groups, many are serial rapists. On college campuses, repeat predators account for 9 out of every 10 rapes.
- The “alleged” rape victims are just girls who regret the decisions they made the night before.
The distinction must be acknowledged that rape survivors are women who have been sought out by their rapist. He/she seeks out situations where they know they can find targets who will be less able to defend themselves. Similar to muggers robbing old ladies — the age of the old ladies isn’t incidental. A rapist is pathological with or without booze, and would be a menace even without alcohol. But it is important to recognize that some rapists do purposely use drugs to incapacitate their victims.That line about how young women go out and get drunk and then regret their choices later? That is used all the time both to justify sexual assault and to warn women of the dangers of leaving the house to socialize. Drinking, of course, will not get you raped, we are only in danger if a rapist is in our presence; guys who commit rape do it with complete intent. Majority of women who are sexually assaulted are committed by people the survivor knows.
- The girls were “asking for it”Woman always hear these same ideas: Don’t go out at night by yourself, don’t walk down a dark alley, don’t drink too much. I don’t have any actual statistics on this, but my bet is that the woman who is raped by the stranger who jumps out of the bushes is more likely to report the rape than the woman who is raped at a party by the dude in her Bio class, especially if she was drinking. Men who rape on campuses are repeat offenders largely because they can get away with it. The language and ideas around sexual assault assumes that women must take self-protective steps, and if they are raped then they must have done something wrong. This thought ties directly into self-blame and re-victimization by society.So often I was told, “well at least you can learn something from this incident” or “now you know not to drink alcohol around your friends.” With a clear majority of men being the attackers in rape scenarios one would logically conclude that men would take some of the blame, but alas society has decided otherwise. —- Shout out to Men Against Rape and other similar groups
Common Types of Acquaintance Rape
Almost all women are fearful of the man behind the bushes are we are walking to class, it is very important to note that 90 percent of college rapes are acquaintance rape. The subcategories that are commonly used in analysis are:
- party rape (can also include gang rape);
- date rape (usually takes place in the victim’s or offender’s residence or in a car after the date);
- rape in a non-party and non-date situation (e.g., while studying together);
- rape by a former intimate; and
- rape by a current intimate.
College students are the most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman In fact, the first few days of the freshman year are the riskiest, limiting the value of any rape prevention programs that begin after that. Research has shown that rapes of college women tend to occur after 6 p.m., and the majority occur after midnight.
Only 20 percent of college rape victims have additional injuries, most often bruises, black eyes, cuts, swelling, or chipped teeth. Thus, investigative practices should be modified to obtain more subtle evidence of lack of consent, rather than just use of force.
Slightly more than 50 percent of college rape and attempted rape victims use force against their assailant, and 50 percent tell the person to stop. Most victims try to stop a rape by doing one of the following: using force, telling the assailant to stop, screaming, begging, or running away.
Since many victims are acquainted with their assailants it is also common to freeze out of shock or fear because of the sudden attack. Your freezing does not mean you give consent.
Psychological Harm to Victims
Acquaintance rape victims suffer the same psychological harms as stranger-rape victims: shock, humiliation, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, loss of self-esteem, social isolation, anger, distrust of others, fear of AIDS, guilt, and sexual dysfunction. College acquaintance rape victims face additional consequences. Many drop out of school because, if they stay, they might regularly face their attacker in class, in their dorm, in the dining hall, or at campus functions and events. Since most victims do not report, colleges cannot intervene to protect them from reencountering their attackers.