Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). To put this into perspective, that means there are 133 sexual assaults happening across the country in the average 6-hour class day. Yet, this is rarely addressed here at Hofstra. Last week, we ran an editorial written by Elizabeth Merino called “Stopping sexual assault: be an active bystander.” Merino shared a personal encounter where a male student had groped her at a friend’s party.
When people say that it is normal for guys (or girls) to inappropriately touch someone as a form of flattery, we disagree. There are other ways to suggest attraction or interest rather than grabbing a girl’s ass. To take it a step further, there are other ways rather than forcible sex. Although this sounds extreme, there is hardly a difference between the two when there is no mutual consent or permission. Both of these examples are unacceptable.
In 2012, there were six acts of forcible sex offenses that were reported at Hofstra—three occurred on campus, according to the 2013 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. In 2011, there were seven acts of forcible sex, all of which were on campus.
Comparatively, in 2012, there were nine acts of forcible sex offenses at Boston University and fourteen at New York University. BU currently has over 30,000 students enrolled, and NYU has over 50,000 students. Hofstra is just shy 11,000. Yet, the numbers of forcible sex offenses is not far off from these larger, urban universities.
We understand that talking about sexual assaults is uncomfortable. And if we keep avoiding this subject, students who have been harmed may never get the justice they deserve. If we keep avoiding this, we are saying that we are okay with the idea of students being sexually assaulted. If we keep avoiding this, we will never move past this issue. No one should ever have to go through this and feel that they cannot talk about it.
This is an issue The Chronicle does not want to overlook, and we want to hear from you. If you or someone you know has a story they would like to share with us, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CHRONICLE STAFF