Let’s break this down.
Obama planned to sign a presidential memorandum Wednesday creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault, with a new White House report declaring that no one in America is more at risk of being raped or assaulted than college women. The report, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action,” says that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted at college but that only 12 percent of student victims report the assault.
Sadly unsurprising. Already backed up by previous studies, but still.
College dudes specifically: you probably have a female college friend who has been sexually assaulted, whether you know it or not.
Think about that. How would you feel if your sister or girlfriend or close female friend told you that she’d been sexually assaulted?
Yea. It’s a pretty goddamn horrible feeling.
It says nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes, with victims more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse and a wide range of physical ailments, including chronic pain and diabetes.
Not just college students in these figures, but still that is way too many people that have been raped (which is a smaller fraction than people who have been sexually assaulted), and I’m guessing that these figures only count reported rapes (which are a fraction of all rapes) because extrapolation is always tricky and controversial.
Also, before any Red Pill dudes or hardcore “MRAs” start going off, note how the report mentions that men have been raped too. So can it before you detract from the overall point of “we need to stop sexual assault in this country.”
The report says rape’s prevalence is highest at college, fueled by drinking and drug use that can incapacitate victims.
College attitudes towards rape and sexual assault are…generally bad. A lot of college dudes don’t know that if the girl is hammered, you can’t get consent from her. I’d wager a fair fraction of college rapes are because the guys (and girls) don’t know what consent is (as opposed to serial rapists being the main perpetrators). Note, I am NOT condoning the rapists. I am merely postulating something that seems to fit in line with the effectiveness of the Don’t Be That Guy campaign. Again, the blame clearly lies with the rapists (male OR female), but trying to explain the “why” is useful IMO.
Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, chair of the Council on Women and Girls, said men must be involved to combat the problem and the president wants to lead a cultural shift of men speaking out.
Good. This is a cultural issue as well and needs to be addressed as such. I’ll post something on this later.
The report also declares that the criminal justice response to sexual assault is too often inadequate and lays out a goal of increasing arrest, prosecution and conviction rates without any specific targets. The report blames police bias and a lack of training to investigate and prosecute sex crimes for low arrest rates and says the federal government should promote training and help police increase testing of DNA evidence collected from victims.
The report mentions the wave of sexual assault in the military — Obama last month gave the Pentagon a year to better prevent and respond to the crime within its ranks or face further reforms. White House officials say they want to set the example by turning around the sexual assault epidemic in the military.
All in all, this is damn good news and semi-unprecedented I think on this level. Good on Obama. Lots of work to do, but this is a nice start.