Several Barriers When Students Report Sexual Assaults On Campus | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Several Barriers When Students Report Sexual Assaults On Campus

Play associated audio

By Alex Keefe

A majority of students sexually assaulted on campus do not report the crimes. And according to a new report by the Center for Public Integrity, those who do could face several barriers.

Kathryn Russell says her nightmare began when she was raped in her dorm room at the University of Virginia. Things got worse when she tried to get her alleged attacker expelled. At the school's disciplinary hearing, she had to argue her own case in the same room with the student accused of raping her. "I died. And I had to rebuild everything," says Russell. "And you can't rebuild, and fight, and deal with school, and hide from the guy who attacked you, and try to do all these things at once."

Kristen Lombardi, who worked on the reports, found Russell's isn't an isolated case. "We found that students face, you know, a depressing litany of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time," says Lombardi.

Lombardi says many women didn't report assaults because they'd been drinking when it happened. She says even those who did sometimes faced administrators who discouraged them from pursuing a hearing.

In the end, the school found Russell's alleged rapist "not responsible." She later dropped out. Russell says hearings like hers, which are often closed to the public, should be more transparent. "I don't think that they should be broadcast on TV, but they need to be open in the sense that you aren't afraid to talk about it," says Russell. "You really should have a representative who is trained, as well, in sexual assault, and how to argue a case like this."

The Justice Department estimates one in five female students will be sexual assaulted.

NPR

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

Demand for locally raised birds is growing faster than small farms can keep pace with. One New England farmer is making a bold move to get more gobblers to the table.
NPR

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

Demand for locally raised birds is growing faster than small farms can keep pace with. One New England farmer is making a bold move to get more gobblers to the table.
NPR

Obama: 'No Sympathy' For Those Destroying Ferguson

Saying he understands the frustrations of people who feel they're not treated fairly under the law, President Obama also said, "I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities."
NPR

Is Digital Learning More Cost-Effective? Maybe Not

Digital learning initiatives are spreading to schools across the country, but new research raises doubts about how well they work.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.