Sexual assault is a major issue in the United States and as the next President, I implore you to address it. Sexual assault happens much to frequently but possibly one of the most troubling aspects of this issue is the amount of sexual assaults happening on college campuses and the abysmal rate at which rapists are being convicted.
A new survey by the Association of American Universities has shown that 23% of female college students have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact (Wallace). These acts were carried out by force or while these women were incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol. Not only were these women sexually assaulted, but over 50% them were too scared to come forward because they felt embarrassed, ashamed, and thought that nothing would be done about it. According to the survey, some of them believed that their unwanted sexual encounter was not “serious enough” to be reported. Victims themselves are saying they are not worthy of justice, bringing into the light the utterly too real issue of sexual assaults on campuses and the victim blaming mentality which keeps women from reporting these crimes and seeking help.
Even when sexual assaults are reported, rapists often don’t face justice. Only fewer than 15% of rapists get convicted and many of them receive shortened sentences. This topic has recently received attention in the media due to the Brock Turner case. Turner, 21, was caught raping an unconscious 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster on January 18, 2015 at Stanford University. For this act he received a minuscule sentence of six months, but only served three months in jail due to “good behavior”. The reasoning behind this sentence was the Judge believed longer sentence would have “ a severe impact” and “adverse collateral consequences” on Turner. It is sickening to see that the justice system cares more about the well-being of the rapist than the victim, thereby influencing a mentality that shames the women who are raped yet accepts and supports that actions of the rapists, passing off their actions as “mistakes” or a “lapse in judgment”.
College should be a fun time for exploring and learning, not a time when women should be concerned and scared for their safety. The fact that approximately one in five female college students have experienced some type of sexual assault is troubling and frightening. Much more work needs to be put into protecting victims, increased education on the severity of sexual assault and the lasting damages caused. Something has to be done so rapists are treated as harshly under the law as they deserve for their crimes. Sexual assault is much too big an issue to keep ignoring so please Mr./Mrs. President, do something about it.
Wallace, Kelly. “Study: 23% of Women Report Sexual Assault in College.” CNN. Cable News Network, 23 Sept. 2015. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.