Sexual assault is amongst the fastest- growing violent crimes in the United States; however, surprisingly it is also the most underreported crime. This issue is extremely prevalent on college campuses around the country, it has been estimated that 20 percent of college women and 6 percent of college men experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault during their stay in college. These numbers may appear low, but this is only the percentage of victims that have reported their assaults. About 68% of all sexual assaults go unreported, but why is this? According to a TIMES magazine article there are about four common reasons why these issues go unreported. The reasons were that the victims did not want anyone to know, they don’t understand what rape is, they’re afraid that the police won’t believe them, or they fear the lack of control they’ll have after they report the incident. Upon reading the article, I couldn’t help but feel like it was missing something.
Following sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault victims have feelings of guilt, shame, anger, or even fear. These feelings are valid, and feed into the above myths as to why the crime goes unreported. However, I feel that the biggest issue is that people feel that reporting their rapes or attempted rape is a waste of time. Out of the 32% of rapes that are reported, only about 2% will lead to the perpetrator serving jail time. If only 2% of the cases results in jail time, reporting your rape seems like a waste of time?
In addition to low prosecution rates, there is also a strong victim blaming culture present in the United States. Toward the beginning of last year there was a media frenzy surrounding America’s favorite African American dad Bill Cosby or known b...
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...es because maybe some guy will think it’s still okay to have sex. I am also terrified of sleeping in the house with a man because my rapist came into my room while I was sleeping when I was raped.
Based on my own research and personal experiences I do not think that the number of sexual assault cases reported will increase anytime soon. In order for that number to increase, the law would need to be more supportive of the victim and not try to blame the victim. When a sexual assault occurs it is NEVER the victims fault, no matter how much alcohol they drank or how revealing their clothes were. It is still the rapists fault even if the victim was walking alone late at night, or had been doing drugs. Once law enforcement and society as a whole realizes that the number of reported cases will increase and the number of sexual assaults that take place will decrease.
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