Sexual Assault Is A Pervasive And Enduring Form Of Violence Essay

Sexual Assault Is A Pervasive And Enduring Form Of Violence Essay

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From homes, to military programs, to college campuses, sexual assault is a pervasive and enduring form of violence caught in the minutiae of politics, ideology, and society within the United States. Sexual assault is legally defined as any sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicitly given consent. Sexual assault is often referred to as sexual violence or rape and may be used as such in the course of this paper. Much like other forms of violence (gun violence, for example) which are central to the public discourse, sexual violence is slowly rising to attention as a public problem. Over time discourse regarding sexual assault has become increasingly prevalent. It is a public health problem – due to the impact assault can have on mental and physical health. Approximately 13-25% of women and 0.6-7.2% of men have been subject to sexual assault. Unfortunately, these numbers – even those on the higher estimation are likely to be low due to stigmatization of reporters. Furthermore, sexual assault has long lasting effects in the form of anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and sexual and social dysfunction. This paper will analyze how framing of sexual violence has changed over time in the mainstream news media.
For the purpose of this paper – the ProQuest archive was used to determine which newspapers were the best resource. The search term used was “sexual assault problem” as “sexual assault” provided too large (and intimidating) of a selection and “sexual assault on campus” provided too few articles. The search was restricted to full text, English newspapers (Historical and Modern) and periodicals. The document type was “front page periodicals” and “newspapers” with “news” as a qualifier. Source type was “ne...


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...s study of prior sexual abuse cases such as the Penn State Sandusky case of 2011-2012 and the Duke lacrosse scandal of 2006. Overall, the locality to these cases in comparison to The LA Times made The New York Times more appealing. Having established this, the next steps were to select three years approximately five years apart to evaluate the change of framing over the course of the twenty-year period. 1996, 2006, and 2014 were chosen respectively for their relationship to sexual assault events. 1996, is a little over five years from the passage of the Clery Act of July 1990 – and is therefore both close and far enough from the legislation to demonstrate if it had any notable impact on news media. 2006, is the year of the Duke University lacrosse scandal wherein three lacrosse players were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper. 2006 is also a year in which there

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