Testosterone run amok on campus

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in four college women is raped.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But we don’t need a designated month to realize sexual assault is an issue that remains not properly dealt with by our nation’s college campuses.

According to the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, sexual assaults on this campus have increased by 40 percent from 2003 to 2004.

Though this number is appalling, we still do not know the extent of sex-related crimes on our college campuses, as an estimated 95 percent of rapes go unreported, according to the National Institute of Justice. Those numbers are backed up by a 2003 Boynton Health Service study that found similar results.

With those numbers, two problems remain obvious. First, how do we prevent these sexual assaults from happening? Second, how do we encourage victims to come forward?

Through education and a receptive environment, we can force what is a disgusting and disturbingly common act to the fringes of acceptability. If the atmosphere in which men commit these crimes becomes more hostile and less tolerant of their crimes, they will think twice before assaulting someone.

Additionally, campuses have the responsibility to treat rapes as a crime and not merely as an internal campus issue. According to the federal Bureau of Justice, 94 percent of rape victims are women. Two-thirds of those rapes go unreported to police. Nine in 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.

One in four college women is raped, according to the Department of Justice. Read that statistic again. If that number doesn’t tug at something in everyone’s soul, our society is even more cold and jaded than we thought.

Rape is never acceptable. For every rape that goes unreported there remains a future assault that could have been prevented if someone came forward. If you’re a victim and a survivor, please come forward. Save someone else from the pain you have felt.