Two sobering statistics:

– One in six women are assaulted while in college.

– Sixty percent of college-aged males say they would commit sexual assault if they knew they could get away with it.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that thanks to organizations like the non-profit, Security on Campus there is at least a dialogue in the United States about the ongoing problem of violence on college campuses.

Security on Campus posts all kinds of useful resources on the subject of campus violence. There are college crime stats, updates on legislation, even a section on which schools are being sued for failing to comply with the Campus Security Act. There are also sections about club drugs and types of sexual assault such as aquaintance rape. For students and parents who may feel these subjects are taboo, this site is a goldmine of critical information.

Still on the topic of campus violence; though many students who fall victim to sexual assault often become overwhelmed by their ordeal, it is heartening to read that four students at Duke University decided to turn their tragedy into something productive. In yesterday’s Herald Sun newspaper, there is an article about students starting a school magazine on the topic of sexual assault. Saturday Night – Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke was created by victims who want to change the culture in which rape is allowed to happen. Started with seed money from friends and family, the magazine which is distributed throughout the Duke campus includes testimonials from students who were sexually assaulted on campus within the last two years. One of the best entries begins like this:

Dear RAPIST,

How are you doing? How have you been feeling since you took something so personal and private from my friend, against her will, and left her with scars that go far deeper than her face, chest, arm and thigh?

So far the idea is a hit. About 3,000 copies of Saturday Night are produced each month and these are quickly scooped up around campus.

Pointing to the traditional apathetic attitude surrounding violence on campus, co-creator, Allison Brim startes, “There’s a pattern at Duke… People get upset. It lasts for a couple of weeks and then dies down.”

This is not a problem unique to Duke, believe me. Hopefully the buzz created by Saturday Night will start a wave of similar publications on other college campuses.

Category:

Leave a Reply