The Steubenville Rape Case Is Closed, but What About Sexual Assault in College?

Generic image (Thinkstock Images)
Generic image (Thinkstock Images)

Parlour Magazine's Nakia D. Hansen explains why she's so enraged by what appears to be a trend in the U.S. of universities failing to put proper procedures in place to prevent sexual assault in the first place, investigate claims of sexual assault, protect and support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

Ladies, I'm sorry to have to inform you that the War on Women persists and you have been drafted into the fight whether you like it or not. The latest battleground to see action is the American college campus — a space that is supposed to foster our educational and personal growth, preparing us to be the leaders of tomorrow. Instead, colleges across the country are increasingly in the news for the sexual assaults occurring on their campuses. While campus sexual assault is nothing new, the complicity by college administrations in downplaying, mishandling, or covering up these crimes has fallen to a new level of shamefulness.

This issue came to my attention while I was checking up on news about my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). I learned that my beloved school was being accused of violating seven different laws stemming from its handling of student allegations of sexual assault. I started following the story of the young women who, in January 2013, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (on behalf of more than 60 victims) alleging that UNC violated their rights under Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights, the Clery Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. According to a petition addressed to UNC's Chancellor and Board of Trustees:

Over the past decade, hundreds of students have encountered hostility, victim blaming, and lack of certain administrators' support when reporting sexual assault and harassment. Survivors have been re-victimized by a system that strives for surface compliance, but that in practice, contributes to their trauma and the tolerance of sexual violence.


Read Nakia D. Hansen's entire piece at Parlour Magazine.

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