One bed. Two people. Too many drinks. One word is stated, no. Force is applied. Rights are violated. This is the scenario of rape that occurs on many campuses, Lawrence included. Rape goes unchallenged on many campuses including Lawrence, producing a rape culture that needs to end.
Rape Culture is an environment in which sexual violence against women is prevalent, normalized and excused in popular culture. The use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies and the glamorization of sexual violence contribute to a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
The issues of campus rape, a subset of rape culture at educational institutions, affect Lawrence greatly. Male and female students of different ethnic groups, regardless of their sexual orientation, have faced this reality and thankfully survived it.
Students recently wrote horrible comments on a Consent Awareness bulletin for the boy’s floor of Ormsby Hall. Within six hours of it being posted, comments such as “Consent this dick” and more were written.
These acts and attacks need to end and need to end now. Only 14 cases for sexual offenses were recorded in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This is considerably low compared to the amount of arrests for liquor and drug law violations for the past two years, 52 and 42 respectively. Many cases go unreported due to a stigma of rape that is unexplainable to many students without the proper information.
In a meeting with Ruth Lunt, the Administrative Chair of The Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Board, tons of information was revealed that many students do not normally consider or even know about. There are two forms of reporting rape or sexual assault; first is a Contact Report in which the University works with survivor and discusses options ranging from counseling to filing charges. These are not documented.
There are also Formal Complaints in which the name of the survivor is given to Lawrence University officials who then seek outside sources to investigate and prosecute. In both situations the University treats the survivor with the utmost respect and advocates for their interests and safety
A survivor can report an assault at any time during their years at Lawrence. If an incident happened during their freshman year and both parties are still on campus, a survivor can report it during their sophomore, junior or senior years.
In an ideal setting, cases of assault would be met with zero tolerance; every attack would be reported (or even no crimes would ever be committed). While Lawrence University is far from perfect, we continue to grow. We are all Lawrentians. Lets step up, protect each other, and take pride in the place we call our second home.
Editors note: A portion of this article that was printed has been removed due to an inaccuracy.