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Action

What concerns me most about the Stanford rape case: it is but one.

It is but one of many, many horrible scenarios that occur on campuses and elsewhere in a culture that does not protect its women. Usually, bicyclists don’t catch the rapist in action. Usually, there is no trial. Usually, the victim cannot, for myriad reasons, articulate what a rape has done to her psyche.

I am angry that colleges and universities across the country are not addressing the serious issue of rape on their campuses. It is a serious issue. And we, as consumers of their education, should demand better for our daughters and for our sons.

If you have not yet viewed the documentary The Hunting Ground, please do. If you have a child who does or who will someday attend a college or university, this documentary should be required viewing. If your child is in high school and will be headed to college or headed to visit friends while they are in college, this documentary should be viewed first.

I am angry that the people who have the power to affect change are not, and are, instead, reconfiguring reporting policies so that their campuses appear safe to prospective students. I am angry that, while Brock Turner is in the news this week, next week it will be some other unrelated thing which I cannot predict, and that no change might come from what his victim endured.

I do not care about what his parents write. I do not care about him. I do not care whether he was a good swimmer (though, obviously, not a fast enough runner because he got caught). What I care about is the larger picture which has shown that this will happen again and again, that other women will suffer at the hands of other men just as Turner’s victim has.

Knowledge is power. And then, after knowledge, action brings power.

We have a crisis where young women are victimized and then, to make matters worse, if it can even be so, justice isn’t served, knowledge isn’t provided, nothing changes.

If our universities and colleges are not acknowledging this problem, then let us help them acknowledge it. Let us let them know that WE KNOW, that hiding facts and knowledge is the antithesis of what we expect from a place of higher learning.

I submitted the petition found here:

http://www.seeactstop.org/campussurvey/

to my undergraduate alma mater as an alumna in the hopes that they will listen. Please do the same for any college or university with which you have been connected so that we can start some action.

If we have rankings of party schools, of best academic schools, can we not have a ranking of safest schools? Of lowest incidence of rape schools (where we know the school is fully reporting)? Give me that list. Because those are places I’d like to know about.

1 Comment
  • Carissa Zill
    Reply

    It is such a sad story indeed, but as you pointed out – one of many unfortunate situations! If we want to see the change in this world it will come through educating our children and teaching them that we are all but one small part of this world with the power to do big things with little actions. Each little bit of good we add to this world each day can overcome the bad if we remain diligent, learn from our mistakes and speak up for others rights.

    June 10, 2016 at 4:17 am

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