There is a must-watch film of a powerful, yet disturbing exposé on the crisis of sexual assaults taking place on U.S. college campuses.
All students attending college, and their parents must be aware of the magnitude of sexual assaults and make sure their voices are heard. The college experience must not turn into heartbreak, tragedy, or a nightmare for anyone.
Compounding the personal devastation to the victims, “The Hunting Ground” ignites outrage by contemptuous reactions of college administrators and their legal representatives.
The insensitivity, victim blaming, evasiveness, inaction, harassment, institutional cover-ups, glorification of athletics, and deification of fundraising manifests shameful superficiality.
American campuses must be havens of security, moral courage, and ethical behavior; not cauldrons of abuse igniting retaliation against victims, contempt for moral decency, or violation of the law.
Ethics by Word and Deed
Victims of sexual assault must always be treated with compassion, empathy, and sensitivity; never with scorn, suspicion, and betrayal.
It is disgraceful for colleges to dehumanize victims to falsify crime statistics, disingenuously manipulate fundraising or federal funding programs, deceptively recruit students, or protect their brand name under false pretenses.
America, we have a problem with sexual assaults on college campuses and the crisis must be addressed with honesty, courage, and collaboration.
Ethics must be the foundation of the college mission by word and deed, and this virtue must be infused throughout the entire educational community.
Ending Rape on Campus
Annie E. Clark, a co-founder of Ending Rape on Campus (EROC), is a courageous woman highlighted in the film.
She was brutally, sexually assaulted before classes even started in her freshman year, but she transformed her tragedy into triumph. As an advocate against sexual assaults, Annie was a lead complainant in the Title IX and Cleary Act complaints against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Annie also helped to write the Bi-Partisan Campus Safety and Accountability Act through her collaboration with Sen. Kristen Gillibrand.
Along with Clark, Andrea Pino, who also attended UNC, is a co-founder of EROC, and is prominently featured with her in the film.
As sexual assault victims, both worked together on the Title IX complaint, detailing that rampant sexual assaults at colleges result in an unequal environment for learning.
The EROC website provides the following information on Title IX:
“Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual battery, sexual assault, and rape that are ‘so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.’ Even a single instance of rape or sexual assault by another student, faculty, or staff member could meet this standard.”
Staggering Sexual Assault Statistics
In my article titled “College Rapes, Sexual Assaults: America’s Nightmare” published in the Epoch Times, Nov. 21, 2014 edition, details were shared from a January 2014 White House report.
“Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” details the enormity of the crisis:
- 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college
- Dynamics of college life with the “get high” culture fueling the problem with many victims being drunk, under the influence of drugs, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated when violated
- Perpetrators prey on incapacitated women and sometimes provide them with alcohol and drugs
- The “party mentality” problem with 58 percent of incapacitated rapes and 28 percent of forced rapes taking place at parties
- Campus perpetrators equating to repeat serial offenders—an average of six rapes each
- Lack of reporting sexual assaults by student victims to law enforcement—an appalling average of only 12 percent report the crimes
- Low arrest rate—approximately 12 percent of 238,000 annual rape and sexual assault victims result in arrests
Compounding the White House report, the culture of enabling reported in “The Hunting Ground” includes the following:
- Harvard University: 135 reported sexual assaults (2009–2013), 10 suspensions.
- University of California Berkeley: 78 reported sexual assaults (2008–2013), 3 expulsions.
- Dartmouth College: 155 reported sexual assaults (2002–2013), 3 expulsions.
- Stanford University: 259 reported sexual assaults (1996–2013), 1 expulsion.
- University of North Carolina: 136 reported sexual assaults (2001–2013), 0 expulsions.
- University of Virginia: 205 reported sexual assaults (1998–2013), 0 expulsions for sexual assault, 183 expulsions for cheating and other honor board violations.
The enabling of predators, due to the lack of ethical leadership, is also reported by the film exposing outlandish sanctions for individuals found responsible for sexual assault:
- Columbia University: suspended for one semester.
- Indiana University: suspended over summer vacation.
- Yale University: suspended for one day.
- University of Colorado, Boulder: a $75.00 fine
- The University of Toledo: a $25.00 fine.
- Brandeis University: a warning.
- University of Colorado: assigned a paper to reflect on your experience.
- Occidental College: required to construct a poster board listing 10 ways to approach a girl you like.
- Occidental College Los Angeles: assigned 50 hours of community service at a rape crisis center.
America must enhance personal safety training as well as ethical leadership initiatives for students and the entire college community, and hold those responsible for sexual assaults accountable.
Law enforcement must also take the moral high ground and refuse to be pawns of college administrators with investigations, arrests, and prosecutions.
Only when American colleges integrate security with leadership guided by character, and developing an ethical guardian mindset for all, will we be on the right path for reawakening the nation.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.