Today I’d like to remind you that hand in hand with college drinking is the problem of sexual assault on campus. No victim blaming is intended here, but if you are headed off to college — especially if you are female — here are some things you need to remember:
- Sexual assault is a crime and should be reported to police, not campus officials. It should be prosecuted in a real court and not a campus disciplinary panel designed to deal with such infringements as scholastic dishonesty.
- Your campus may have a vested interest in making sure few serious crimes — including sexual assault — are reported. After all, they want to look parents of prospective students in the eye and talk about their low crime rate.
- Victims of a crime have the right to have their complaint taken seriously, even if the alleged perpetrator is a campus hero.
- More protections might be coming, but they of course must be balanced against the rights of the accused (who are still “innocent until proven guilty”, and yes some are unjustly accused — another argument for involving the real police and real courts early).
- Just like with most crimes, it is always a good idea to be a little proactive about not becoming a victim. Use common sense. Use the “buddy system” when you go out and keep an eye out for one another. Watch your consumption of booze and other intoxicants. Be aware that not-nice people exist. These tips are useful for preventing theft and the more mundane sort of assault too.
Look, I sincerely hope you never ever have to call the cops to report a crime on campus. Likewise, I hope you won’t hesitate if the need arises.
In Closing: More on privacy, watchlists, and “reform“, with a bonus blast from the past; dude, highway deaths are so down in Colorado; in the Navy; co-signing is a bad idea; mountain lions don’t like opera; airport playground.