Stockton University Rape Cases
After conducting a poll of more than 1,000 current and recent college students from around the county, a team of Washington Post reporters interviewed dozens of people who responded that they had, at some point during their time in college, experienced unwanted sexual contact or faced an attempted or suspected assault.
“I told him to stop. He thought I was joking. I froze.” – Kristina Erickson, Beloit College (Wisc.)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates that at least 95% of campus rapes in the U.S. go unreported. This statistic reflects a dire need for increased campus prevention and support systems at our nation’s colleges and universities. Our guide aims to increase awareness about sexual assault and abusive relationships. We also address tactics to prevent attacks on campus, and cover the immediate steps that should be taken if you or someone you know is victimized.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault, a type of sexual violence, is a term that applies to a broad range of forced and unwanted sexual activity. It includes attempted rape — unwanted fondling or sexual touching — and rape, generally defined as penetration of a victim’s body against their will. Sexual assault can involve forcing someone into non-consensual sexual acts by way of manipulation, physical or emotional coercion, or psychological force, including threats or other means of intimidation. Whatever form sexual assault takes, it’s important for victims to realize that it’s not their fault.
Sexual assault is a far too common problem in our country today; RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) recently reported that someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. But sexual assault shouldn’t be regarded as ordinary or inevitable — by understanding and addressing the problem, we can do something about it. According to RAINN, rates of sexual violence in the U.S. have dropped by more than half since 1993. That’s encouraging, but our society still has a lot of work to do before we can list ‘sexual autonomy’ among our national virtues.
The vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported and unpunished. RAINN reports that nearly 70% of victims don’t inform the police and that a mere 25% of reported assaults eventually result in an arrest. About one in six men suffered sexual abuse in childhood.
Most victims of sexual assault know their assailant on some level. As reported by RAINN, approximately seven out of ten sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. This could be another factor contributing to underreporting; a victim who, out of fear they’ll be ostracized or won’t be believed, refuses to tell anyone they were assaulted by a stranger is even less likely to report abuse from a significant other, a family member, a teacher, or a classmate. This unfortunate truth stems from victims’ ill-founded assumption that they are less likely to be believed in such a situation coupled with the fact that the survivor will likely have to endure further interaction with their assailant by virtue of their relationship.
In light of the fact that most victims know their attacker, it makes sense that most incidents of sexual assault occur in victims’ homes. According to RAINN, at the time of the incident, victims are most often ‘sleeping or performing another activity at home.’ People often feel safest when they are at home with family and friends, but these statistics reveal a different, much more disturbing story.
Colleges and universities around the country must begin to seriously take steps to prevent incidents of sexual violence on campus. By increasing the presence of security officers (on and off campus housing), initiating programs, and educating not only students, but all staff on the meaning of ‘consent,’ schools must begin to seriously work to ensure the safety of their students, faculty, and staff on campus. Responsibility for an attack does not lie solely with the perpetrator, but also with the institution. There are ways that the institution can be proactive in protecting its students and can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
If you have been a victim of Stockton University rape, contact the attorneys at Fuggi Law Firm today!