Sexual assault and rape cases are issues that many people around the globe face. However, the most recent cases of similar problems have marred various universities and campuses in the United States. The worst thing is many of these universities do not address these sexual assault cases in the right way. Many sexually assaulted victims have reported discontent with the way their universities handle such cases. Victims have reported that their campuses have failed to use the right methods to solve rape cases that occurred on campus grounds. One victim from Ivy League campus has recounted how her rapist is still in the institution even after she reported him to the college authorities. Therefore, this paper is an investigation of the extent of sexual assaults cases on campuses in the US, how the colleges have handled such cases and the policies put in place to fight rape issues in the institutions of higher learning.
Existence of Rape Cases in American Campuses
The incidence of rape cases in American universities and colleges have been on the rise in the recent past. One example is given of the unresolved rape cases that occurred in the university football league in Missoula, Montana. The study shows that there had been 80 reported sexual assault cases that took place on that campus in a period of three years. This narrows down to an alarming statistic of at least 26 cases annually. However, research shows that the university officials downplayed and mishandled the cases to an extent that the rapist went unpunished until the cases were reopened later on in the following years (Grey, 2015). On the same note, three rape cases were reported at Princeton University, which involved an unwanted fondling of the victims. The worst thing is that two of the cases were reported on a Friday while one was reported on a Saturday, hardly twenty-four hours before the previous cases could simmer. The third assault involved forced sexual activity while the victim was incapacitated during the previous school academic year (Gray, 2014). An Ivy League student also alleged that her rapist was still living in campus years after she reported the case to the university administrations reported another rape case.
On the same note, there were more rape cases reported on the campus grounds of the University of Virginia. Further reports show that there have been many reported rape cases that have occurred on various campuses across the nation. The sighted cases are just but a handful that proves the extent to which many colleges receive sexual assault cases from their female students (America Association of Unversity Professors, 2012). Further research shows that sexual assault issues are not only frequent in campuses but also occur in other parts of the country. For example, several rape cases take places in areas such as homes, schools, and even on the streets (America Association of Unversity Professors, 2012). There have been various reported cases that have shown that women are the most victims of rape cases. Worst still the women become victims of the people they know in their lives such as boyfriends, fiances, and even husbands. Additional to grown women, many young girls have become victims of sexual assaults in different capacities (Walsh, 2016). These girls get sexually assaulted by their fathers, stepfathers, men in their neighborhoods and other relatives such as uncles.
Nonetheless, reports have shown that the law enforcement agencies do less to help both university students and other females outside campus to deal with such issues. In fact, one article has reported that the issues that surround inabilities to solve sexual assault cases both in and out of campus rely on power. Some critics have also indicated that the due process issues that are used during the hearing of sexual assault cases do more harm than good to the victims (Grey, 2014). They report that using due process leads to dismissal of various cases prematurely. Looking at campus cases, there are several reliable indications that many universities and colleges have not dealt with rape cases effectively. For example, the Ivy League student that stated that her rapist was still in campus years after she had reported the rape case also stated that the university administration had done nothing to help bring the offender to justice. On the same note, other reported cases at the University of Virginia, Princeton, and MIT among others show that the administrations have less functioning procedures for dealing with rape case issue that hit their female students (Gray, 2015).
How Administrations Handle Rape Cases
According to different reports, many universities have policies that require that the victims of sexual assaults report such cases within a given number of days (Gray, 2015). Once they receive such cases, the administration should summon the victim to file a report and record a police statement to validate their allegations. Once the process is completed, the administration should summon the offender and charge them with sexually assaulting the victim. In many cases, there should be an investigation to find out the truth behind the cases by consulting witnesses to either qualify or disqualify the cases. However, reports show that many universities are ill equipped to deal with and even solve sexual assault cases in many American universities (Walsh, 2016). The statements indicate that many campuses lack the necessary procedures to handle sexual assault cases. In most instances, they end up mishandling such cases and participate in letting the victims suffer long and painful experiences of watching their offenders walk scot-free. Campuses usually downplay sexual assault cases by conducting inadequate investigations and dismiss them on the grounds of lack of evidence even when there is enough proof to show that the offender is guilty (Gray, 2015). On the same note, they usually let such offenders unpunished based on their positions in the learning institution. For example, it is rare to find a campus that is ready to punish the student leaders who have been involved in sexual assault cases (Gray, 2015).
Policies that Can Be Used to Solve Sexual Assault Cases in Campuses
One of the most important steps towards solving sexual assault cases in campus is to have effective methods of reporting such incidences. Once the administration receives such reports, they should move immediately to conduct an investigation on such issues on campus (America Association of Unversity Professors, 2012). Accord to title six, sexual assaults on campus is a crime that should be handled with utmost care and vigor. They should ensure that the offender is thoroughly investigated to find out the truth about the accusation. The best method to go about the investigation is by sending the offender away from campus to pave the way for active investigations (Dockterman, 2015). Once they are found guilty, the offenders should be arraigned in court and be subjected to adult charges because any person who is above eighteen years is an adult by the law. They should also be suspended from campus and even be blacklisted from attending other campuses on the basis of the sexual offense cases against them (Gray, 2015). Universities should also come up with effective methods and procedures for protecting girls and women on campus. They should also create awareness by educating men on the need of being men of good characters to reduce the occurrences of sexual assaults on campuses.
It is also important to make the Californian law that requires that students who are found guilty of sexual assault be suspended for two years from campus tougher (Gray, 2015). The school administrations must also ensure that they follow the right laws and procedures for handling rape cases that occur in college. Where possible, they should come up with a legal body that is independently charged with the duties of dealing with sexual offense cases that take place on campus. The university administrations also need to involve criminal justice systems to join them in the aim to solve sexual assault issues in the colleges (Gray, 2015). Similarly, the due process used in various courts should work to ensure that rape cases are well documented, investigated and thoroughly tried in courts to ensure that all offenders get the right punishments that they deserve. The new laws that require disciplinary department in colleges to use affirmative action should be enacted to ensure accountability. This is because, accountability requirements will make sexual offenders decide whether they want to endanger their educations by engaging in such misconducts (Dockterman, 2015).
America Association of Unversity Professors. (2012). Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures. AAUP.
Dockterman, E. (2015). The Vanderbilt Rape Case Will Change the Way Victims Feel About the Courts. Time magazine.
Gray, E. (2014). 3 New Sexual Assault Allegations at Princeton. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). A Controversial Proposal to Fix Fraternities: Keep the Women Out. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). Report of Gang Rape at Virginia University Reignites Debate on Campus Sexual Assault. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). This Is the New Frontier in the Fight Against Campus Rape. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). University Survey Highlights Role of Verbal Coercion in Sexual Assault. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). Why UVAs New Frat Rules May Not Make Much Difference. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2014). The Troubling Statistic in MITs Sex Assault Survey. Time Magazine.
Gray, E. (2015). Jon Krakauer Defends New Book on College Rape. Time Magazine.
Walsh, K. (2016). Campus Sexual Assault: More Awareness Hasn't Solved Root Issues. Washington, DC: US News and World report news.
Walsh, K. (2016). How Colleges Are Battling Sexual Violence. US news and world report news.
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