College Sexual Assault: How Students Can Help Prevent Rape On Campus

For example, according to statistics from the Justice Department, just under 3% of all college women become rape survivors (either completed or attempted) in a nine-month academic year. To take Harvard as an example, with an undergraduate population of around 6,500 undergrads, our number would of rape survivor women would be about 100 each year. It is important to remember that when counting survivors of other genders this number would undoubtedly increase.

To visualize that number, the number of rape survivors for each academic year should overflow Fong Auditorium on exam day. The number of rape survivors should probably be around the same size of Harvard’s varsity football team, overflow two shuttles, and easily fill the stage of Sanders Theater, Harvard’s largest classroom. Gathering these numbers for multiple years, between 650 and 825 of current Harvard undergrads have been survivors of a completed or attempted sexual assault.

Yet because of extraordinarily legitimate concerns that include not being believed by authorities, reprisal of the perpetrator, not thinking it was serious enough to report, or because the survivor knows the perpetrator, sexual assault is widely underreported. The most updated of HUPD’s reported assault is 13. This number is actually higher than the average 5% of national campus reports, but widely below the 40% reporting rate that occurs in the general population. Reporting rape is not the same as stopping rape, but it is a tool in our arsenal and a reminder that survivors are not alone. Sexual assault happens, even at Harvard, and it’s time for this to stop.

read more: College Sexual Assault: How Students Can Help Prevent Rape On Campus

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