10% of women have been raped, another 35% sexually assaulted.
25% of the victims have been attacked repeatedly.
66% knew the person who perpetrated the attack.
83% didn't report it to the police.
29% did not tell friends or family.
The overwhelming response to this question was that "they would be too embarrassed or ashamed of the incident to admit it" and the "low conviction rates."(Data compiled from Mumsnet)
The Obama Administration made excellent progress in imposing rigid regulations and policy on college campuses regarding prioritization and reexamination of college campus rape policy in order to remedy the widespread sexual violence issue that plagues American universities.
Today, Betsy DeVos is holding a press conference today that decides the future of rape and sexual harassment policy on college campuses. After an era of progress, an eight years of pushing forwards under Obama's leadership in the field of gender equality and justice for sexual abuse victims, DeVos will pull us backwards in her alterations of rape and sexual violence policy for college campuses.
DeVos argues that the Obama Administration's policy for handling sexual violence on campuses across the nation has resulted in a new type of victim: men. She claims that the existing policy leads to men being falsely accused, and in response, men's lives being ruined. While DeVos claims that she is not attempting to undermine a sense of security for women on campus, and is instead trying to protect the rights of the accused, that is not the case. She is instead implying that there is an incentive system to the current policies regarding rape and sexual abuse, and withdrawing a system that is essential to the safety and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of women nationwide.
The current system provides no incentive to women who choose to report their case of sexual assault, abuse, harassment, or rape to officials on campuses. Most women find it embarrassing to report incidents of sexual violence to officials, and feel as though they are not taken seriously. There is no reward for reporting incidents. There is nothing but courage and bravery required to tell the truth about a traumatizing event like sexual violence. I will clarify now and admit that in the history of this policy, there have been those who have been wrongfully accused. No system is perfect. But, the vast majority of cases have been reported truthfully, and are crucial to justice and safety of women everywhere. If every case reported is considered a falsified report of sexual violence for the sake of a vendetta, then no justice will ever be served to those who are victims, and sexual assault will never be taken seriously or avoided. It is very difficult to falsify sexual violence or rape due to the injuries and trauma sustained to the victim and the rigorous investigations that follow the reporting of the incident, and this fact must be recognized by DeVos. The men being accused of sexual violence do maintain their rights in the manner that an intense investigation ensues, and they get to plead their case as well.
DeVos seems to ignore this fact, and instead recount all of the stories that she has heard from parents of young men accused of rape or other forms of sexual violence that have had their lives "ruined". This is an interesting component of her argument, as it seems that parents of the accused seem to be the most enraged. The simple fact of the matter is that men are finally being held accountable for their actions, and the ugly truth of college campus rape and sexual abuse have come to life. Parents are unable to believe that their child could ever be capable of such an horrific action, but it is an unfortunate reality, not a falsified accusation.
The only remedy DeVos should be making to the rape and sexual violence policies on college campuses is one that clarifies the standard procedures for rape investigations. Implementing a thorough, routine, clarified, and universal procedure for all universities would silence all ridiculous complaints of men being "targeted" by rape policies, and instead serve justice.
Men are not being targeted by rape policies.
Women are not being incentivized to accuse men of rape.
Instead, men are being held accountable for their actions as policy continues to evolve and provide a platform of justice for women.
Betsy, don't take a step backward for your fellow sisters. Take a step forward. Help justice persist. Don't give men more leeway when it comes to college rape policy. Instead, let's ensure that colleges respect the current investigative procedures and serve justice.