Thursday, June 5, 2014

Roundup: campus sexual assault news

The government's one-in-five stat doesn't mesh with its own under-reporting stat

Excerpt from this column:
The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported.
Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009-12 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent -- too high but nowhere near 20 percent.
Colleges discriminate against men in their decisions about bringing charges

"Charging only the male if both parties are drunk (not incapacitated) is gender discrimination." Brett Sokolow, president of NCHERM. See here.  Last April, Mr. Sokolow wrote a letter devoted this subject. See here.

Duke dean's views discriminate against men

In the recent case where Lewis McLeod sued Duke, Rachel B. Hitch, a Raleigh attorney representing McLeod, asked Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex.

"They have raped each other and are subject to explusion?" Hitch asked.

"Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek. (Source here)

Dean Wasiolek's views are troubling. They are contrary to the views of Brett Sokolow of NCHERM, who is probably the leading authority in America on the subject. If Duke makes disciplinary decisions in accordance with Wasiolek's philosophy, men are being charged with sexual assault when they shouldn't be.

Victims advocate says colleges need to get the process right

Excerpt from here.
Longtime victim advocate S. Daniel Carter, director of the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative at the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, said getting the right balance in campus adjudications is critical for the accusers as well.
"If you have a process that does not treat both the accuser and the accused fairly, it's just wrong," Carter said, "and it's not going to be politically viable amongst the community."
We agree with Mr. Carter. The recent lawsuits filed by men against schools that expelled them, and the recent chilling comments from NCHERM, suggest that the system is not being fair to men accused of sexual assault on campus. This perception does no favors for rape victims because it undermines public confidence in the way rape is handled. If jurors and persons assigned to college disciplinary boards believe that the system is stacked against men and boys accused of rape (that, for example, the standard of proof is too low, or that charges are brought when they shouldn't be), they will be all the more wary about punishing even men and boys who should be punished.