What you can do now to spread the word on danger of campus assaults

It’s time for some of our children and grandchildren to go back to school. Some are going to college, and that can be a very dangerous place for undergraduates. Studies have shown one in five college women and 5% of men have been sexually assaulted (note 1 and note 2). This problem is very real and close to home. On July 21, three N.C. State University (NSCU) students reported being sexually assaulted during a campus party. Raleigh police took this seriously and assigned a team of detectives assigned to the case, but more than 2 weeks later, there have not been any arrests (note 3). One way to protect undergraduates is by warning them and giving them guidance.

To help inform the community and help undergraduates know to protect themselves, Raleigh NOW held a screening of “The Hunting Ground” documentary at NCSU in Raleigh, cosponsored by WomenNC and NCSU’s GLBT Center. One of the main subjects of the film, UNC-CH graduate Annie Clark, led the post-film discussion. Annie Clark survived her assault, and refused to be ignored. She went on to co-found her own organization to combat campus rape, End Rape On Campus. The documentary presents the issue very well, and Annie Clark and her continuing fight to help others and improve the situation was inspiring.

Annie Clark running Q&A at screening of The Hunting Ground, on 8/8/17. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Community member Denny McGuire wrote,
“I was so impressed with Annie Clark and her ability to handle the questions from the audience. I had seen the movie before on TV but seeing it in a theater with other women made the experience so much more moving.”

The screening and discussion were free to the public. We had a good mix of the community join us, including students from NCSU and Meredith College, High School students, NCSU graduates, and people in the community from various organizations. We also had an NCSU counselor with us. Annie Clark talked about what she has done since the film, and answered various questions from the audience. Renee Wells, Director of the GLBT Center, talked about resources available at NCSU, and work she has done on a 24 hour service. Annie Clark was a fellow at WomenNC, and was introduced by Lauren Frey, another WomenNC fellow, who has done research on date rape.

Auditorium from top. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

There are a few things you can do now.

  1. Use the documentary to spread the word! Do your own showing of “The Hunting Ground.” Raleigh NOW and NC NOW have copies of the DVD, including an educational copy with 3 different versions of the documentary. Contact them through this website or email president at raleighnow.org.
  2. Take action to keep the Federal Law called Title IX. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. As the action says, “Title IX is essential in protecting each student’s right to equal access to education and an educational experience free from violence.” Find letter and suggested messages and suggested tweets at http://endrapeoncampus.org/dearbetsy/
  3.  You could also organize a group to write letters to Betsy DeVos.
  4. See how Title IX is being interpreted badly under the Trump administration at “Eighth Circuit: Title IX Won’t Cover High Schooler Who Reported Her Assault at a College,” 8/4/17, at
    https://rewire.news/article/2017/08/04/eighth-circuit-title-ix-wont-cover-high-schooler-reported-assault-college/
  5. You can make a donation online or via check to defray the costs of the film at https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/donate-now (and list your project as Campus Sexual Assault) .

Read more about the event and the problem of sexual assault on campus at Learn about Campus Danger for Women, 8/8/17, at NCSU. You can also read some of stories that didn’t make the documentary, or weren’t presented in full, in Annie Clark and Andrea Pino’s book “We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out” at http://webelieveyou.net/.

Notes:

1. “1 in 5 college women say they were Violated via Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll.” Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2015/06/12/1-in-5-women-say-they-were-violated/

2. AAUW “Survey: More than 1 in 5 female undergrads at top schools suffer sexual attacks” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/survey-more-than-1-in-5-female-undergrads-at-top-schools-suffer-sexual-attacks/2015/09/19/c6c80be2-5e29-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html

3. “A week after allegations of sexual assault at NC State party, no arrests made,” 6/28/17, http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article164262347.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s