Sexual assault and rape is a huge in on all college campuses!
Study Shows Women Are Less Likely To Be Sexually Assaulted At HBCUs
When it comes to studying sexual violence, college surveys often don’t include students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But one major study found sexual assaults are lower on those campuses than others.
Via NPR reports:
Some question those numbers and whether HBCUs have the resolve to openly address the issue of campus rape.
Of the 100 HBCUs in the country, Morgan State University in Baltimore ranks in the top 15 for academics.
During the school’s fall matriculation convocation, professors dressed in their full cap and gown regalia, strolled into the fine arts building auditorium where hundreds of students were already waiting. Morgan State President David Wilson proudly described the ongoing building boom at the sprawling campus and successful efforts to retain more students.
But amid the pomp and circumstance is the fact that Morgan State is the only HBCU on the list of more than 70 universities and colleges the Department of Education is investigating for how they handle cases of sexual assault.
Twenty-year-old Christopher Brown, a junior, found it difficult to believe his school was on the list.
“I think that it’s preposterous because sexual assault cases, I was unaware that that was present on this campus,” Brown says.
But 20-year-old Dominique Butler wasn’t surprised. She says a friend did confide in her that she’d been raped by a fellow student but didn’t report it.
“She was afraid of what her family would say. She was afraid that no one would believe her,” Butler says.
The latest statistics from the Education Department show one rape occurred at Morgan State in 2012. The school is under investigation after a student filed a complaint in March alleging she had been sexually assaulted by another student in off campus housing. Morgan’s president Wilson says the school can’t divulge any information about the case but says preventing sexual violence is a top priority.
Amelia Cobb, the founder of The Wright Group, which consults on issues of social change, was the force behind an initiative launched on HBCU campuses in 2008 to help schools focus on gender based violence. Cobb says many financially strapped HBCUs focus on economic priorities but have not taken the lead on creating transparent policies for dealing with sexual assaults.
“They want the help, but when it comes to actually putting and addressing violence against women in general and implementing that into their existing system — whether that’s an academic setting, an orientation, a training for an RA (resident assistant) — on a consistent basis, it just doesn’t happen,” she says.
About 40 miles away from Morgan, in Washington, D.C., there’s another acclaimed HBCU — Howard University. Over the past four years, it has received about $600,000 in Justice Department grant money to devise programs to combat sexual violence. Last month, it held a mandatory Title IX orientation session for freshmen.
“Silence is not consent,” professor Tricia Bent-Goodley said. She told the students that there must be a straightforward affirmation when it comes to agreeing to have sex.
“Repeat after me — an enthusiastic yes,” she told them.
Bent-Goodley says the goal “is primarily to make sure students have a sense of what does domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking look like.” Students also need to know who they can turn to for help, she adds.
The largest survey about sexual assaults on HBCU campuses was conducted in 2008 by the nonprofit research group, RTI International. Four thousand undergraduate women at four HBCUs participated, says Christopher Krebs, the survey’s lead researcher. The rates of sexual assault where women were incapacitated in some way — for example, drunk and unable to provide consent — was considerably lower than on other college campuses — 6.2 percent versus 11 percent at non-HBCUs.
“Alcohol use at HBCUs was considerably lower than alcohol use at non-HBCUs,” Krebs says.
Black women attending predominantly white institutions also had lower rates of drinking alcohol and lower rates of incapacitated sexual assaults.
“So it’s not so much maybe a campus phenomenon as it is a race phenomenon, where black undergraduate women are simply drinking at considerably lower rates,” Krebs says.
Emory University professor Angela Amar, who has also studied sexual assault issues, points to the high female-to-male ratio on HBCU campuses and says a cultural variable may also be impacting the lower numbers of reported rapes.
“It’s like you don’t want to turn in the ‘brother’ whose doing well on campus,” she says. “You know there’s so few of them, and so maybe it’s really not so bad.”
In an effort to raise awareness, Morgan State is developing brochures about Title IX and how to prevent rape. Next spring, Howard University will hold a bystander prevention program to continue what faculty call needed tough conversations for HBCUs.
What do you think of the latest study??