Letter to the Editor: Assault prevention requires education

April 20, 2016

I have recently read an article in the Royal Purple about the “amnesty” law on campus, which I think is great and will be very helpful in terms of lessening the staggering underreporting of sexual assault on campuses in general, including Whitewater’s.

Although I think this law will be helpful, I also think that the article and laws in general miss a big part of the problem with the reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses: how victims of sexual assault are treated once they do report. Lots of victims often feel that it’s not worth reporting or that no one will believe them once they do report. It has been proven time and time again that sexual assault reports on campuses are widely mishandled. It is a national statistic that one in every four women will experience a sexual assault while in college. Yet in 2012, 45 percent of colleges reported ZERO sexual assaults.

Although we would all like to believe that a college campus had no sexual assault cases in a year, it is simply unrealistic, and shows the problem with underreporting. The question we must ask is why 88 percent of women don’t report sexual assault.

A lot of it has to do with education. Some don’t even know or are not sure what consent is, but I personally believe most has to do with rape culture. Sexual harassment and assault has become a normal part of the college experience. That is such a sad and disgusting statement to me. In order to reduce this normalization of “rape culture” on this campus and many others, it’s important to educate individuals in the ways they contribute to rape culture and ways to stop it. Let’s strive to make Whitewater a safer community for all of us.

Kiandra Davis

Social Work BS