WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT IN MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG POST.
Earlier this week on CNN, a documentary illuminating the realities of sexual assault on college campuses was aired. ‘The Hunting Ground’ was a powerful, emotional, and much-needed story that needed to be shared with Americans all across the nation. This documentary was written by the same people who produced ‘The Invisible War’, an expose on women’s sexual assault in the military.
This documentary was an expose on universities covering up rapes and sexual assaults. In the documentary, we hear from survivors, read statistics gathered from many sources, and are told how colleges hide reports or make it impossible for people to report a crime on campus. We also see the grim truth that colleges will do anything they can to protect a rapist, often leaving the victim to drown in a sea of uncertainty and death threats.
There are two women in this documentary who have been following cases like their own for years. These women, Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, were sexually assaulted on their campuses, and when they went to report, were not satisfied with the “care” they received. They grew impatient and angry with their schools, and filed a Title IX violation. The Department of Education is investigating their universities, as well as many others due to their brave activism.Many survivors in the documentary say “The rape was awful enough, but the reaction to when I tried to report was worse.” In the documentary, it mentions how 1 in 5 women are likely to be assaulted while on campus. It also mentions that 1 in 71 men are likely to be assaulted as well. The most startling statistic said that only 8% of men rape, but they account for 90% of rapes reported, meaning that they are repeated offenders.
One woman who attended Florida State University bravely told her audience that she had been raped by their starting quarterback. Because FSU is such a big football school, the backlash to her report was horrific. She received death threats, was called a faker, and everyone thought it was suspicious she reported when the QB started doing well, even though she had reported over a year before. I grew curious as to what became of her rapist. Jamies Winston now plays in the NFL for the Buccaneers. He was a first round draft pick, as well. He got away with this awful crime because he refused to talk, and because of his athlete status.
I did a project a few years ago about this, and my stats matched theirs very closely. I was scared while watching this documentary. It made me want to check out UMBC’s Clery Act to see how many sexual assault cases have occurred on campus. There were six reported rapes on campus in 2012, and three reported last year. Although, I don’t recall hearing about any of these in the news, or in school reports. Makes you wonder what happened… Also, startling enough, John’s Hopkins University, a big time school here in MD, is also under federal investigation for being in violation of Title IX. It made me scared for my friends, my family, and my fellow peers. Women’s bodies are under attack everyday: physically, emotionally, and mentally.
This documentary was powerful, and I’d like to look more into the statistics to learn more. Some reactions to the documentary have been negative, mostly from university officials, campus police, and Men’s Rights Activists who still think that men are oppressed because women can enter public spaces… Even if this documentary is not 100% accurate, it provides us with a basis for starting this discussion. We need to start protecting women.
If you are a student at UMBC, here is what you can expect when you report. While this documentary seems frightening, PLEASE REPORT YOUR CRIME.