Universities and colleagues aim to educate the youth and prepare them for the marketplace. However, serious crime does occur in universities. According to research, cases of sexual assault are higher than reported. Unfortunately, sexual assault is prevalent across the country. Young women between 18 to 24 are at a higher risk of sexual assault. Drugs and alcohol are among the most significant risk factors.
If you or your loved one has suffered sexual assault, you should contact a sex crime attorney. The lawyer will help you understand and fight for your rights. At Sex Crime Attorney, we have years of experience representing victims of campus sexual assault in Los Angeles.
Understanding What Sexual Assault Means
According to the law, sexual assault is an unwanted sexual act that involves sexually touching another person without their consent. It also involves forcing or coercing the victim to engage in sexual acts against their will. Sexual assault includes child sexual abuse, rape, groping, and performing other sexual acts. One of the most common forms of campus sexual assault is rape.
Classification Of Campus Sexual Assault
The law defines sexual assault as committing sexual acts with a person without their consent. A perpetrator commits sexual assault by using physical force or threatening violence. Physical force involves subduing the victim and using threats to force the victim to accept your sexual advances. The perpetrator can either use their strength or a weapon to subdue the victim. The offender can also sexually assault an incapacitated victim who cannot stop the abuse. You may suffer campus sexual assault when you cannot prevent the abuse due to unconsciousness, drunkenness, sleep, or drugs. The court can find an offender liable for the offense if the perpetrator is responsible for the victim’s substance use. Or if the victim consumed the substance without the perpetrator’s knowledge.
Campus sexual abuse can occur in four different scenarios. You can be a victim of sexual assault when you consume a drink laced with a drug that incapacitates you without your consent or knowledge. This type of incapacitation is called drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). You can also suspect that a perpetrator has spiked your drink so that it becomes impossible for you to stop or prevent the sexual assault. This type of assault is called suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault (SDFSA). The third scenario is when the offender sexually assaults you after giving you a drug or alcohol or a combination of the two to incapacitate you without your knowledge. Lastly, an offender can sexually assault you when you are asleep or unconscious.
Prevalence Of Sexual Assault In Campuses Across The Country
According to a survey conducted by the Association of American Universities in 2019, one in four women experienced sexual assault while at the university. Almost 75% of students will experience sexual harassment on campus. However, less than 30% of the victims reported the assault. They believed they could handle the issue on their own. Others failed to report due to the shame and stigma associated with campus sexual assault. Others felt the ordeal was not severe enough to merit external assistance. The survey indicated the vice remains prevalent on many American campuses.
The Association of American Universities interviewed more than one hundred and eighty thousand students from across the country. The survey showed sexual assault was higher by 13% against female, non-binary, transgender, and genderqueer students. According to statistics, about 10% of females and 3% of males among graduate and professional students undergo campus sexual assault. They are assaulted through force, incapacitation, or violence. 26.7% of females and 6.8 % of males among undergraduate students experience campus sexual assault. The assault happens through force, incapacitation, or violence.
According to statistics, young people between 18 to 24 are at a higher risk of sexual assault. Additionally, sexual abuse is more prevalent than any other crime on campuses. Sexual violence crimes are more likely to happen at certain months of the year. According to a report published in the Journal of American College Health, more than half the sexual assaults on campus occur in August, September, October, and November. College students are also more prone to suffer sexual assault in the first and second years of campus. However, sexual assault can occur at any time during the student’s tenure at the campus.
Understanding What Makes Sexual Assault More Prevalent In Campuses
It is twice more likely for you to be sexually assaulted than robbed on campus as a college student. Various factors contribute to the likelihood of sexual assault. Additionally, sexual misconduct and other risk factors play a significant role in the prevalence of the vice on campuses. One of the contributing factors is the freedom you experience as a college student. For the first time in your life, you have more freedom than before. The liberty may cause you to engage in riskier behavior, exposing you to sexual harassment. A majority of college students like to party. You may feel inclined to join in the party lifestyle. Unfortunately, sexual harassment at these parties is prevalent. Some malicious person may take advantage of your intoxication and proceed to assault you sexually. Other offenders may spike your drink at the party and sexually molest you once you lose your cognitive abilities.
Risk Factors That Contribute To Increases Sexual Assault In Campuses
Substance abuse is one of the most significant risk factors contributing to sexual assault on campuses. Most perpetrators commit sexual assault while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may also increase the severity of the attack. According to The Campus Sexual Assualt(CSA) Study, more men confessed to committing the crime after heavy drinking. Additionally, substance abuse makes you an easier target.
Apart from alcohol and drugs, other risk factors contributing to sexual assault exist. These factors include your race and ethnicity, residential status, and dating violence. More risk factors include sorority membership, your consensual sex experience, and prior victimizations. Most sexual assaults happen during the first two years of college. Younger people, especially ladies, are more likely to experience sexual assault than their older counterparts.
According to the study, Native American women are at the highest risk of campus sexual assault. The study also indicates African American, Hispanic and Asian women may be less likely to experience sexual assault on campus. However, the fewer instances may be due to the lower population of the African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians in campuses involved in the study.
Additionally, you are more likely to experience sexual assault if you live in campus housing than off-campus. Interestingly, 10% of the respondents were prior victims of sexual assault before they joined their first year of campus. According to the study, the correlation between previous victimization and an increased chance of repeated victimization results from the victims’ responses and behaviors. These responses and behaviors include low self-esteem, depression, underdeveloped psychological adjustment, and mental health issues resulting from the assault.
Perpetrators Of Campus Sexual Assault
In most cases, victims know their sexual assailants. 80% of rape victims, not necessarily on campus, know their assailants. The perpetrators are acquaintances, a relative, or a former or current romantic partner. According to National Sexual Assualt Statistics, about a third of campus sexual assault victims recognize their assailants. A quarter were their friends and almost a third were their former romantic partners. It is critical to understand sexual perpetrators are not always strangers. Therefore, you must learn to decipher warning signs and learn ways to protect yourself even from close acquaintances and friends who may mean you harm.
You should remember suffering from campus sexual assault is not your fault. It is the perpetrator's fault since they are always abusive and violent. However, you can take some steps to protect yourself from sexual predators on your campus.
Below Are Some Ways You Can Protect Yourself From Sexual Assault On Campus.
You should strive to know a person well before you decide to spend time alone with them. You will meet many new people on campus and would like to make as many friends as possible. However, you should take time before you trust anyone enough to spend time alone with them. Make sure to attend parties with friends whom you trust. Many campus sexual assaults take place at parties. The sexual predators can spike your drinks or take advantage of you when you become too drunk to resist their sexual advances. You should always stay close to your friends and often check with each other. Also, talk about your plans for the night. Discuss the time you are to leave the party and how you should go back home.
Discuss if you will head back home with a taxi or designate one of your friends to be the driver so that they can remain sober throughout the night.
If you feel more drunk than usual, ask for help immediately. It may result from someone spiking your drink with drugs which makes you lose consciousness. Some of these drugs do not have a smell or taste. Therefore, it may be difficult to detect if someone has spiked your drink. Make sure you meet a new person at a public place. Additionally, leave if you find yourself alone with a person and have a gut feeling that all is not well. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, leave.
Always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone at night or in a secluded spot. Avoid listening to music on your earphone to be alert to what is happening around you. You should also walk-in lighted areas around campus or ask security personnel to walk with you. It is critical to know where you can receive help if you are in trouble at the campus. You should know where the campus police, health center, and sexual assault centers are. Also, have the campus security number on your cell phone.
Factors That Contribute To High Campus Sexual Assault
The campus environment makes it riskier for students to suffer sexual assault. College students feel the need to be a part of a group. Therefore, sexual assault is more common when the students attend parties since drugs and alcohol are usually present. Therefore, drugs and alcohol create a conducive environment for sexual assault.
Another factor is misogyny. The term refers to hatred towards women. People often in different ways that include objectification and sexual harassment.
Reporting Of The Sexual Assault To Authority
Only a small percentage of campus sexual assault report the incidence to the police. Victims refuse to report the crime for various reasons. Some of these reasons include fear that the blame will fall on them. Others fail to report the assault and suppress the memory since they want to forget about the incident. Other victims feel embarrassment or shame, while others think the police will not apprehend the perpetrator.
Other reasons include fear of retaliation from the assailant and the feeling that nobody will believe their story. The victim also experiences additional pressure if the perpetrator is a close friend or relative. In most cases, when the assailant is a close friend or relative, they will have groomed the victim or the victim’s parents. Grooming means the assailant has built a relationship with the victim or their parents over time. Some of these offenders are respectable members of society, like doctors or judges. Therefore, the victim feels no one will believe their story when they claim the respected member of the community, whom the family may know and trust, is the perpetrator of such a grievous crime.
Most victims tell their friends, a family member, an intimate partner, or a roommate. Very few victims contact the police, victim’s or health care center to report the ordeal and seek additional help. Victims of forced physical sex crimes are more likely to report the case to authorities than victims of incapacitated sexual assault.
According to the Campus Sexual Assualt (CSA) study, campus sexual assault victims stated they tried to avoid the assailant as one of the ordeal’s coping mechanisms. Others sought psychological counseling. Very few victims pursued any legal action against the offender. Therefore, only a few campus sexual assault offenders face legal action, including a restraining order, facing civil charges, or receiving disciplinary action from university officials. However, if you become a victim of sexual assault, do not hesitate to contact a sex crime lawyer. The lawyer will help you pursue civil charges against the perpetrators. The judge can also issue a restraining order against the assailant. The court can also order the assailant to cater for your medical expenses or pay restitution for the pain and suffering they caused.
How Can Campus Administrations Reduce The Incidences Of Campus Sexual Assault?
Colleges and universities must ensure their policies on sexual assault are easily understandable. The guidelines also need to be supportive to the victim. Most colleges tend to downplay any occurrence of sexual assault, especially rape, to avoid damaging the institution's reputation. Such policies only help encourage the culture of sexual assaults since perpetrators know the campus will downplay the crime. Additionally, the administration may not conduct a thorough investigation into the allegation. The campus administration should ensure all students clearly understand the institution’s policy on sexual assault.
The institution should also offer free courses on sexual assault, consent, warning signs, and prevention strategies. Sexual assault reporting procedures are usually complicated. Therefore, campuses should make the processes easier to ensure more victims report the crime. The campus should encourage the creation of activist groups that champion the rights of sexual assault victims. These groups should also educate the students on preventive and protective measures against sexual assault. They should also offer support to the victims. The administration should also inform the students of safety guidelines. These guidelines will help create a safer environment. The institution should also set up a support center where victims of sexual assault can feel safe to report their ordeal where the victims do not feel judged, blamed, isolated, embarrassed, or alone.
Additionally, the institutions of higher learning should provide safe havens where the students can freely speak about their experiences. All the departments need to be involved in stemming out the vice from the institution. All departments, campus security, and local law enforcement should work together to investigate and bring into custody any offender. They should also ensure the safety of the victim at all times. All departments play a vital role in ensuring the safety of the students while on the premises.
How Parents Can Support Their Children After A Campus Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is traumatizing and more so to a young adult. Therefore, you have a responsibility as a parent to let your child know you are there for them and they have your full support. It is also essential to educate yourself on the reporting and judicial process of a sexual assault case. It is critical as a parent to enlist the services of a well-experienced attorney to help you seek justice for your child.
Can The Campus Where Sexual Assault Takes Place Be Held Accountable?
Under federal law, colleges and campuses where sexual assault occurs can be held liable. The campus can be held responsible under the Education Amendments of 1972 Title IX law. Under the amendments, sexual harassment or violence can be classified as sexual discrimination. It is the responsibility of the campus to respond swiftly and effectively to any report of sexual harassment. The institution should also take proper measures to prevent any future occurrence of the crime. The campus should also address the effects of the crime.
Under the Clery Act, the law requires all campuses and institutions of higher learning to disclose their crime statistics and security policies. According to the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination act, all campuses and institutions of higher education should educate their staff, students, and faculty on stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
Apart from the federal laws, many states have laws that address campus sexual assault. Therefore, a campus can be held liable for campus sex assault if it contravenes any federal or state laws concerning sexual harassment and assault.
Steps You Should Take Should You Be A Victim Of Sexual Assault On Campus
Remember. It is not your fault the sexual assault happened. You should dial 911 if you are in imminent danger. You should also report to the school administration if the assault occurs inside the campus. You should also seek counseling. You should also seek medical attention to prevent any infection. It is also critical to seek legal help from a qualified attorney.
Effects Of Campus Sexual Assault
Sexual assault has numerous effects, both psychological and physical. After the assault, the victim may become depressed, anxious, and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Call A Sex Crime Attorney Near Me
Campus sexual assault is an issue that warrants more attention. It is more apparent on campuses because many victims do not report the crime. Perpetrators of the offense assault most of their victims when they are incapacitated. The incapacitation can be due to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. A person is at a greater risk of campus sexual assault in their first or second year.
Additionally, most of the offenders are known to the victims since they are acquaintances, friends, or in some cases, family members. Campuses should make it easier for sexual assault victims to report the crime. They should also roll out programs to sensitize students on sexual assault, domestic violence, and preventive measures. The campuses should have sexual assault prevention systems in place.
You should contact a sex crime lawyer if you or your loved one is a victim of campus sexual assault. At Sex Crime Attorney, we help campus sexual assault survivors seek justice. We also help you navigate the obstacles you might face when seeking justice. Our attorneys oversee the investigation, pursue justice, and tackle victim-blaming to ensure you receive justice. If you suffer campus sexual assault in Los Angeles, California, do not hesitate to contact us today at 424-835-9799 for a free consultation.