Rape is a major problem in the world today, especially on college campuses. An estimate of 20-25% of undergraduate women are victims of peer sexual violence, but 90% of the cases are not reported (Cantalupo, 2010, pg.49). A way to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses are to have prevention programs. Studies show that prevention classes do change the mindset of men and women in college, these programs can target men, women, and or dating expectations. These prevention programs have shown positive outcomes and better understandings of rape, and the rape culture. With the help of the programs, rape cases will decrease tremendously.
Keywords: Rape, Victim, College
What is rape? Rape is “Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim” (Rape, (n.d.)). Consent means to give permission to do so. Rape has always been a big issue in the world, from the 1990s to today, although rape cases have always shown up, they are seen more frequently in today’s society. According to Foubert and McEwen, research conducted in the 1980s showed that 15% of college women in a nationwide sample of 32 colleges and universities reported at least one experience since their 14th birthday that met the legal definition of rape and as previously stated it was up to 20-25% in 2010.
Rape has such a negative impact on individuals, physically and mentally. Some common effects of sexual assault are; Post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, pregnancy, scars, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Some reasons why one may rape are due to their childhood, drug use, or hostility towards the other sex. When hearing the word rape, a stranger attacking a victim may come to mind, but most rapes are not committed by strangers but by men who know their victim. Rape prevention programs will make a positive impact on sexual assault problems around campuses.
Although these programs would be a beneficial thing, it is hard for colleges to make such classes possible due to the cost, finding an instructor, and time. Therefore, to make these programs possible they can be part of the freshmen orientation, for a student to attend orientation and visit the campus they must complete this class first. With this program occurring on orientation day it is likely to have more participants, there will be no cost, time is not a problem, and an instructor is only needed for the day.
“The monumental study conducted by Koss on 32 American college campuses revealed that not only had one in four women been the victims of rape or attempted rape, but 84% of these victims knew their attacker”(Lonensway, 1996, pg.230). With that being said Lonesway also stated that 80-90% of rapes are committed by acquaintances.
As a result of the recent studies and research, people are now beginning to see the problem, individuals are now concerned and trying to make a change. Rape is now being seen through the media, legal professionals, and the general public, but how will it be fixed? Through rape prevention classes. According the Lonesway, they made three tables , Table 1 presents a review of three rape prevention programs targeted toward women, which suggests that all such programs have been effective at increasing female participants’ awareness of rape and subsequently reducing their vulnerability, Table 2 reveals, such interventions frequently focus considerable attention to issues of cross-sex communication and dating expectations, and Table 3 provides descriptions of seven rape prevention programs targeting exclusively male audiences, and as with all-female and mixed-sex interventions.
The program that would have the best effect on people is the “Mann, Hecht, & Valentine” experiment, this is a fifteen minute performance about the issues of assertiveness and dating, one group watched the dramatic performance only, whereas a second watched the performance and then participated in a fifteen minute discussion regarding sexual attitudes, gender scripts, and assertiveness; a third group participated in the discussion group only, whereas a fourth completed outcome measures without any program participation , a five week follow up was performed and suggested that assertiveness increased among the participants with less sexual aggression and great changes were seen with performance and discussion.
Addressing sexual violence is challenging, but it needs to be done. Rape is a terrible thing and it is being used as a weapon and soon will become a way of life. Rape can affect any gender, any age, or any race. Rape is showing up more and more everyday and until a change is made women and men will continue to violate or to be violated. There are many different traumas that follow rape. Women lose their health and mind because of such torture. When around this at such a young age, children will grow up thinking that rape is okay. Do not let such a horrible thing keep making an appearance.
If the programs are showing positive outcomes, then why not use them? With the help of rape prevention programs sexual assault cases will begin to decrease, victims will no longer be terrified to leave their house, and college campuses will be safe again. It is time to make a change and rape prevention programs are a start to a better, more positive society.
- Cantalupo, N. C. (2010). How Should Colleges and Universities Respond to Peer Sexual Violence on Campus? What the Current Legal Environment Tells Us. Retrieved February 6, 2019, from https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1430&context=facpub
- Lonesway, K. A. (1996). PREVENTING ACQUAINTANCE RAPE THROUGH EDUCATION. Retrieved February 6, 2019, from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.920.5377&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Foubert, J. D., & McEwen, M. K. (1998, December). An all-male rape prevention peer education program: Decreasing fraternity men’s behavioral intent… Retrieved February 5, 2019, from https://bobcat.militaryfamilies.psu.edu/sites/default/files/placed-programs/1998, Foubert & McEwen.pdf
- Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved February 6, 2019, from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/rape