Posted by: joshjasper | February 28, 2010

Pandemic Vs. No Big Deal

On the front page of today’s newspaper there was an article titled “Investigation: Most campus sex assaults in Wisconsin not reported.”  You can find the article at: http://www.thonline.com  It is noted in the article the sexual violence that takes place on college campuses is “literally an epidemic.”  Consider this: Throughout the country, on any given college campus, nearly 25% of the current freshman female students will be sexually assaulted before they graduate.  Last year I taught a college class titled “Violence in Society.”  Before midterms, 8 of the 21 female students disclosed being sexually assaulted.  Epidemic?  The dictionary defines an epidemic as: “spreading rapidly and extensively and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time.”  Interestingly enough, when reading further into what an epidemic is, the word “pandemic” is defined.  A pandemic is: “an epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world.”

Some consider the more recent pandemic to have been the 2009 Flu Pandemic.  By June of 2009, there were more than 30,000 people worldwide with this type of flu.  Approximately 18 MILLION women have been raped in the United States.

I would ask the question that is begging to be asked, but I know the answer, and so do you.  Why don’t we consider sexual violence an epidemic, pandemic, or even a big deal in our country?  Well, let’s look at  a few other numbers to answer that question:

1.  More than 90% of sexual assaults are never reported for fear that the victim will not be believed or will be blamed for the crime.

2.  1 in 3 women before the age of 18 are sexually assaulted in our country.

3.  Punishment for sexual violence is rare.  This past year, our Court Watch program noted that 85% of the sexual and domestic assault cases were dismissed or pled down.

4.  99.5% of all violence committed in our country is done by men.
These statistics say a lot, but what they say over and over again is that women and girls are not valued in our society.  How could they be?  How could we live in a community, country, or a society that allows such violent behavior to persist?  Moreover, what does it say when a group of people is being assaulted time and time again, and they won’t report the crime for fear that they will be blamed, revictimized, and not believed?

What does that say about us?

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Responses

  1. Dear Josh,

    Thank you so much for speaking the truth about the epidemic/pandemic of sexual violence on college campuses. I have been researching, documenting, and interviewing students and experts for the the last three years for my feature documentary, Spitting Game: The College Hook Up Culture. I take a comprehensive overview into all aspects that make up the culture, but my main focus in the film is sexual assault, non-stranger rapes, and consent.

    Dr. David Lisak is in my film and he expresses the truth about the amount of sexual violence on campuses abd tge fact that the colleges and universities are not doing much about it. Ultimately, it is cheaper for the colleges to keep the perpetrators on campus than to expel them.

    I really believe that the college hook up culture of “drunken, no-strings attached sex” promotes an environment for predators to survive and thrive in.


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