Rape: The Opening of a Taboo

Rape: The Opening of a Taboo

Length: 1682 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Rape: The Opening of a Taboo
missing works cited

“I had been working a while, maybe an hour or so, when I became aware of the sound of breathing behind me. A man was standing there, watching me type on the laptop. He had been there for quite some time,” wrote a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student in the university’s newspaper, the Tech.

Concern about the victimization of female college students has grown in this country since 1990, according to the Sexual Victimization of College Women report by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The rising awareness of sexual victimization has displaced the ideal of college campuses as ivory towers for the new fear that campuses have become “hot spots for criminal activity,” the report said.

Awareness about this topic began to grow with the passing of the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990. This act forced any college that was participating in a federal student aid programs to publish and distribute to its students and employees an annual report containing security policies and campus crime statistics for the university, the NIJ and BJS report said.

The Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights was added to the act in 1992. The federal law requires that the victim has the right to change their academic schedule and their residence hall, according to James Ferrier, Associate Director of Public Safety at Northeastern University.

" Now often times the woman says ‘Wait a minute, he’s the one who did it. He’s the one who should move or he’s the one who should have his schedule changed. Why should my life be changed? Why should I move out from out of my circle of friends and move somewhere else?’ The answer there is clear, it’s a due process issue. At that point, the perpetrator hasn’t been found responsible of anything, he’s innocent until proven guilty. Just on an accusation, it would violate that person’s rights of due process,” Ferrier said.

Campus Statistics

Many studies have been done since the act was passed in 1990 to collect the statistics of sexual assault on college campuses.

“The statistics that are used are 35 out of 1,000 college-age women will raped each academic year. On a campus with 10,000 students, that’s 350 a year,” said Sarah Dawgert, Public Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC).

“One out of six or one out of ten is a victim of sexual assault during her college career.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Rape: The Opening of a Taboo." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Rape As A Rape Victim Essay

- We live in a world where we care more about a rape victim 's clothes than the fact that they were assaulted and it’s time we address that. No one cares about rape victims today. It’s old news; nothing but some exaggerated tale crafted by the dreaded feminazi. These cases are all too easy to dismiss―we have lots of practice at it. For example we’ve coined many phrases such as: they could have fought back. They should have walked a different street. They’re lying. Men can’t be raped they can defend themselves....   [tags: Rape, War rape, Rape culture, Sexual slavery]

Research Papers
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Sex Is An Important Taboo Aspect Of Life

- Sex is an important yet taboo aspect of life, there are certain aspects about it that need to be discussed that people just are not comfortable discussing because of the taboos that follow sex. One of the most important issues regarding sex is what makes it permissible, is consent enough or is there something more needed. People have been pondering this conundrum for decades and now err towards the side of caution and have made laws and policies much more stringent concerning legal, legitimate sex....   [tags: Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, Rape]

Research Papers
1997 words (5.7 pages)

Date Rape : Rape And Rape Essays

- DATE RAPE Introduction I’m assuming that you 've all heard of date rape. Apart from knowing what the physical side of rape is, there are many students who aren 't aware of the facts in depth of what really happens in these circumstances. So today I’m going to briefly talk about this. I‘m sure you’ll all agree with me that it’s quite scary at any time learning about date rape, but so much worse if you become a victim. No one wants to be a victim, so it’s important that we know about the drugs used and furthermore, what to do if you become a victim....   [tags: Rape, Date rape drug, Sexual intercourse]

Research Papers
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Rape Culture : Rape And Rape Essay

- Rape Culture Did you know that ninety-seven percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. (RAINN) This fact is depressing considering the large percentage of rape victims. Things like rape and violence have a severe impact on the mentality level of people. Their lives will change forever after going through an intense situation such as being molested, beaten, or anything along those lines. It has caused people to commit the same crime, become severely depressed and suicidal, as well as many other unfortunate events....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Sexual assault]

Research Papers
1065 words (3 pages)

Dinner with a Cannibal, The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo Essay

- Cannibalism is has always been a taboo topic in western culture. Most people are familiar with the concepts of cannibalism because of movies like Silence of the Lambs, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and many others. However, very few people understand the truth and the definitions behind what cannibalism really is and the reasons its done. When most people consider the topic of Cannibalism it is typically thought of as a non-western practice. People are generally willing to exploit the practice in media until it hits closer to home....   [tags: taboo, culture, prehistoric, natives]

Research Papers
2121 words (6.1 pages)

The Rape Of College Rape Incidents Essay

- College Rape Incidents There are many women that are raped, but “numbers don’t begin to tell the whole story” (“Rape and Sexual Assault”). Universities can do more to help prevent rape on their campus. Acts like Title IX and Violence Against Women Act can be enforced further more at colleges. Also, the staff and students can help prevent rape from happening; especially coaches and leaders of fraternities can inform athletes and fraternity brothers about rape because they are usually the perpetrators in rape situations....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, War rape]

Research Papers
2012 words (5.7 pages)

Rape : An Example Of A Social System Essay

- Rape is a taboo subject and is known across the globe as an unacceptable, yet why is so prevalent in India. As individuals we know that rape is a horrendous act that causes a lot of trauma for the victim. Rape in India is an example of a social system in which men feel that they need to be dominant, despite changes in society‘s attitudes towards women. Every 20 minutes a woman in India is raped (Feingold, pg.1). The high rates of rape to Indian women lead activist groups like Maitree to come in and fight for the government to take action on forced sexual assault....   [tags: Rape, Sexual assault, Police, Assault]

Research Papers
2469 words (7.1 pages)

The Rape of the Lock Essay example

- The Rape of the Lock Pope's portrayal of Belinda and her society in 'The Rape of the Lock' This Lock, the Muse shall consecrate to Fame, And mid'st the Stars inscribe Belinda's Name. In 'The Rape of the Lock' Alexander Pope (1688-1744) employs a mock-epic style to satirise the 'beau-monde' (fashionable world, society of the elite) of eighteenth century England. The richness of the poem, however, reveals more than a straightforward satirical attack. Alongside the criticism we can detect Pope's fascination with, and perhaps admiration for, Belinda and the society in which she moves....   [tags: The Rape of the Lock Alexander Pope Essays]

Research Papers
2000 words (5.7 pages)

Edwin Morgan's Opening the Cage Essay

- Edwin Morgan's Opening the Cage The poem "Opening the Cage," by Edwin Morgan, is based on a quote taken from John Cage. Cage said, "I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry." Cage's quote contains fourteen words which are rearranged fourteen times by the poet to create a fourteen line sonnet. At first glance, the poem may seem to be random and senseless, and this interpretation could hold true, for Cage was known especially for his chaotic and seemingly mindless music. One thing to keep in mind is that Cage desired to create meaning through musical methods that most people would believe to be meaningless....   [tags: Morgan Opening the Cage Essays]

Free Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Rape Fantasies by Margaret Atwood

- Rape Fantasies by Margaret Atwood "Rape Fantasies" is written by Margaret Atwood in 1977. Basically this short story is about the narrator, named Estelle, recalling a conversation of several women during their lunch hour. It starts with one of Estelle's co-workers, asking the question 'How about it, girls, do you have rape fantasies?'(pg 72) The story goes on with each woman telling their supposed 'rape fantasy' to one another. As each is telling their fantasy, Estelle is doing her best to try to deflect the situation by making jokes about their fantasies....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Rape Fantasies Essays]

Free Essays
439 words (1.3 pages)

Related Searches

If that statistic were true, even if it was one of out ten, we have 7,500 women students on campus, we would have 750 a year,” Ferrier said.

“Their numbers we can assume are low because many people don’t report to anyone. But the numbers that we use are taken from things like well-known or respected surveys that we can better assume people are reporting what happened versus a police report. On college campuses, the numbers they publish are how many rapes happened on campus that are based on police reports and based on ones that are founded to have actually happened according to them. Certainly this doesn’t mean that there are other ones that they investigate and don’t find enough evidence for, but they can’t really say that those don’t happen. There’s no way to know that,” Dawgert said.

“If you build your credit based on that kind of research, you have to look at the questions on those type of surveys," said Ferrier. "Often times those questions are something like ‘have you ever been touched on a private part of your body without your consent?’ If you ask that question, then I think one out of ten college students will say yes. But that could be being pinched in the subway or being bear hugged by a friend. If that question results in researchers saying its sexual assault, then its not really what it means to a casual reader who says, ‘Oh my gosh, there have been an awful lot of sexual assaults on campuses’ so you really have to look at definitions.”

According to Massachusetts General Law, rape is defined as being “sexual intercourse” or “unnatural sexual intercourse” with a person without consent, by force, or by threat of bodily injury. The penalty in Massachusetts is up to 20 years in prison.

A ccording to the NIJ and BJS report, 95 percent of sexual assaults of college students are not reported to the police.

“It’s surely the most underreported crime in the country,” Ferrier said.

The number of sexual assaults reported by the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) was four in 2000 and seven in both 2001 and 2002. According to Ferrier, the NUPD is very prepared to handle sexual assault cases.

“We’ll actually go out looking for them and say ‘Do you realize you have some rights and services available or let us help you report it to the other police department where it happened.’ Because we are so proactive about that, we deal with approximately 10 to 15 cases a year in various ranges of sexual assault,” Ferrier said.

Some people are critical of the discrepancies between the numbers college police departments report and the statistics reported by government studies.

“Institutions of higher learning nationwide routinely overlook and under-report incidents of campus sexual violence, each fearing that admitting the actual frequency of sexual assault on its campus will result in consequences to its reputation,” an article by the Greater Boston National Organization for Women (NOW) said, “Each year, hundreds of U.S. universities report zero campus sexual assaults. Common knowledge and actual experience among students and administrators belie these statistics.”

“It’s in the best interest of colleges and universities to project the image that their campus is safe. The majority of assaults are acquaintance rape on the college campus. Most women don’t feel like they’ve been raped,” said Nina Selvaggio, Co-President of Massachusetts NOW. She said that there are other factors at work as well, but underreporting happens frequently.

“Campuses have inter-university systems. It doesn’t carry any criminal weight or prosecute the perpetrator,” Selvaggio said.

“Universities have a reputation to uphold. They want people to come to their campuses. If people knew there were rapes happening on campus, they would be less likely to go. Although we know that it’s happening on every campus, so its not like if one has lower numbers than another, it necessarily means that there’s less incidents happening,” Dawgert said.

“I don’t think that Northeastern covers it up. I think that very few people come forward at all so the statistics end up looking so incredibly small that people think that clearly cannot be an accurate number of what’s happening. But I think its just an accurate number of those that are reported to the police,” Laura Weiss said, the Coordinator of Sexual Assault Services at Northeastern University.

Sexual Assault Units

Every police department is required to have a unit that is specifically trained to handle sexual assaults, according to the General Laws of Massachusetts.

The NUPD has 15 trained officers “so that ensures us that almost all the time, 24 hours a day, around the clock, every day of the week we have at least one of those officers on duty,” Ferrier said.

“They have a lot of training. They really put the survivors emotional and physical well being ahead of anything else. I think they do a good job. I’ve heard some really good things from outside communities at how Northeastern handles it,” Weiss said.

The NUPD also deals with prevention of sexual assaults on campus. “There are programs that are part of freshman orientation to educate, to know the risks of sexual assault. There are many programs through the residential life staff that they present to the residential halls,” Ferrier said.

“They make it pretty safe. I feel decently educated,” freshman Rachel Brown said.

“There is no shortage of knowledge on the part of most campus women when they’re sober about that issue. If you were to pull first semester freshmen women when they’re sober into a classroom and say what are the two or three things you can do to prevent yourself from being the victim of sexual assault on campus, I would be very surprised if freshmen women couldn’t come up with three or four important things,” Ferrier said.

The problem is when students start drinking. “One beer, half a beer, and your judgment affects your memory and your inhibition,” Ferrier said.

“Virtually all of the sexual assaults, rapes, attempted rapes are behind closed doors, in his room or her room, they both went willingly together, they’re known to each other, there was alcohol involved usually by both of them, she’s usually a freshman. The typical circumstances,” Ferrier said.

“This concept of the mugger jumping out of the bush and mugging the college women are extraordinarily rare. Those are the highest reported ones, when those happen, they get reported. And they’re extraordinarily rare,” Ferrier said.

Growing Awareness

“There are some strides being made. At Northeastern now they’ve hired Laura Weiss at the Counseling and Wellness Center,” Dawgert said.

“But there’s a lot of work to be done. And for universities and institutions, its hard to do and its hard to want to admit that it happens on their campus because, of course, no one wants that happening in our communities. But it happens. We need to be honest about that. And for the community to support survivors and to believe them. The first reaction should be to believe the survivor and not think that they’re lying,” Dawgert said.

“Although my initial contact with the MIT people who found me after the attack was exactly what I needed and more, I wasn’t always taken seriously or treated with enough sensitivity by people at MIT. Many organizations in Boston and Cambridge are, in my opinion, more capable of dealing with such a trauma. Sometimes I wish I could have worked more with MIT people, if only to combat the belief that rape doesn’t happen here,” the MIT student wrote.
Return to 123HelpMe.com