College Sexual Assault Should Be Addressed

Campus Awareness Walk
 Campus Awareness Walk
 John D’Amico  
Earlier this month, White House officials announced that top members of the Obama administration will not visit colleges that they feel don’t enough to combat the issue of sexual assault on campuses, according to the Washington Post.

Biden also said that he would like to remove the government’s funding for any of these universities that they feel aren’t doing enough to help this issue. And this is just one example of some of the recent outrage over college sexual assault.

Campus sexual assault has become a very talked-about issue over the past several months. Some people believe that this is an issue that more needs to be done to further address. And there is definitely some evidence to support that belief.
About 27 percent of all college women become victims of sexual assault before they graduate, according to the New York Times. To put this in perspective, that’s over 1 in 4.

It’s also worth noting that in this context, the term “sexual assault” is used broadly to refer to a spectrum of actions, from rape, to attempted rape, to unwanted touching and kissing.

And although many have argued that this statistic can come off as misleading, I think most of us can agree that these actions just shouldn’t be happening nearly as often as they do on college campuses.
And there has been many cases recently that, for a lot of people, have strengthened this resolve that college sexual assault needs to be taken more seriously. For instance, there was the recent controversial case with the Stanford University student Brock Turner, who had previously been convicted of attempting to rape an unconscious young woman, according to CNN.
And back in June, there was a lot of anger when the news media reported that the judge sentenced Turner to six months in jail for this crime, a sentence that a lot of people found far too lenient. And yes, it’s definitely a pretty lenient punishment compared to the sentence that someone would usually get when found guilty of this sort of crime, especially considering the case’s prosecutors recommended that the judge sentence Turner to six years in prison.

Many have suggested that Turner likely would not have gotten this lenient a sentence if he were not a white, upper-class male attending a prestigious university. And others see it as another sign that our society just doesn’t take campus sexual assault seriously enough. And although cases like this don’t really seem to be the norm in the U.S. today, I can definitely see why others would view this as an example our culture not taking rape seriously enough.

Look, at the end of the day, regardless of whether you like the ways that people have gone about attempting to solve and discuss this issue, I think we should all be able to agree that this is a big problem that needs to be dealt with. How exactly do we deal with it?
Well, I suggest it starts with spreading awareness about the issue as a way to inform people and to change mentalities. More people need to know that this sort of thing is not acceptable. And there need to be more consequences for those who commit sexual assault. And keep in mind, all of this can start with you. 



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