Campus Sexual Assault has been in the news a lot these last couple of weeks, with a lot of folks talking about a “new” report on the acquaintance rape of college students. I’m not sure where people are getting the “new” from, it’s actually from 2002. But it’s worth checking out. Of course, it’s brought out the usual campus rape deniers, and Amanda Hess does a great job of taking them down at her new blog. It seems worth mentioning that our former Board member, Nora, also took the same folks and claims on a couple of years ago in this piece in the LA Times.
Back-to-School means all sorts of awesome community- and campus-based anti-violence programs and groups are back in action. This story out of Evanston, IL highlights the amazing work of Porchlight Counseling Services, who offer free counseling to sexual assault survivors from Chicago-area colleges. They also organize an intercollegiate Youth Leadership Council. Peer education groups like Peers Advocating Anti-Violence Education (PAAVE) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are starting their student trainings. A lot of schools are bringing in outside films and presenters to spark conversation about sexual violence and consent—Penn State Abington recently hosted the always incredible Nancy Schwartzman and her film, The Line. Some professors and staff are reminding students about what consent is and what their school’s policy says about it, like in this piece from the Cornell Daily Sun. Students, too, are taking the papers with some great points, like this editorial from the staff at UNC’s Daily Tar Heel that asks why we’ve accepted violence against women as the norm.
In legal news, a former Gonzaga University student is suing the school for their lack of action and stalling after she reported being raped at the school in 2007. Notably, the student is “seeking monetary damages and changes in policy at Gonzaga.” Over at Yes Means Yes blog, Thomas has a must-read post about a new study from David Lisak that will be released in December on the rate of false rape accusations on U.S. college campuses. The research team found that only 5.9 percent of rape allegations were false. I’m looking forward to reading the whole report this winter.
Someone at the Chronicle of Higher Education is freaking out about college “Sex Weeks.” I hope to have the time to do a separate post about this and how frustrating, backwards, and unnecessary the hysteria is. But for now, I suggest you check out for yourself this ridiculous piece that seems primarily concerned with there being a market for vibrators on college campuses. OH NOES.
Cross-posted at Change Happens