What we can learn from the rape case

More than half of all sexual assaults go unreported by victims.

As the University continues to deal with public reaction to the arrest and charge of Dominic Jones related to an alleged rape in April, students and community members are trying to digest their own feelings about the situation.

Many feel that this might be just one more case about the abuse of power within collegiate athletics programs. Others feel that the four charged players were unfairly removed from the football team before their stories have been heard by a court. Others think that the situation reflects poorly on the University as a whole.

While we wait for the details of the case to hash out in court, we are left with questions. However, there are some things we do know already.

The University is taking responsible measures in dealing with the situation. A rape case brought against four members of the football team is not an easy one to smooth out – and the University isn’t doing any smoothing. By dismissing the four players from the football program, coach Tim Brewster and the University have taken a stance that proves they are intolerant of any such acts of sexual violence.

Enforcing intolerance of sexual assault will undoubtedly help the community grasp the severity and concern of sexual assault. According to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, more than half of sexual assaults go unreported, and rape is most often committed within a friend or acquaintance relationship.

The best way that the University community can move on from this incident is by creating more awareness and education around sexual assault and abuse. This awareness can be reached by increasing our communication about the subject. By talking and listening, we can become more supportive to victims of sexual assault, and this heightened awareness and intolerance could deter potential predators. If we all truly believe that sexual violence is not OK, it won’t happen.

Check out the Aurora Center’s resources for victims and opportunities to volunteer at www.umn.edu/aurora.