Colleges, states, students, administrators, and the White House are reexamining what more everyone can do to prevent sexual assaults and to assure campus safety. We must take additional steps to curb this growing national epidemic.
According to some studies, 20–25 percent of college women will be sexually assaulted during their college careers. Another approximately two percent of college men will be sexually assaulted – and many researchers believe sexual assaults on men are grossly underreported. Among college women, nine out of 10 knew their attacker.
At Pace, we are absolutely committed to preventing sexual assaults and addressing these situations promptly and appropriately when they do occur. It is one of our highest priorities. Every student deserves to pursue her or his dreams in a safe learning environment. We are reexamining our policies and procedures to make sure that students, whether they are in class or visiting friends on campus, feel secure and protected.
Last month the White House launched a campaign called “It’s on Us” to enlist communities in the fight against campus sexual violence. President Obama and Vice President Biden called on students to help keep their friends safe. “One of the most effective ways to prevent rape is to mobilize men and women on campus to join together in stopping perpetrators before they can commit a crime,” said Scott Berkowitz, the president and founder of an advocacy group partnering with the White House on the campaign.
The reviews that are underway at Pace will provide a number of occasions for us to engage in open dialogues about the circumstances that lead to unwanted sexual activities and what everyone can do to combat a complex problem that is far too big for any one person to tackle alone.