Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Introduction

            Sexual assault especially to the female students within colleges has attracted an attention to the public. The consequences associated with the act are so dire and include; the physical injury that may require medical treatment, unwanted pregnancies, emotional damage and sexually transmitted diseases. In most incidence, sexual assault do affect the general student’s academic performance where he/she may drop individual career choice. Some of the students leave the school because of guilt as others transfer to other institutions to avoid meeting the assaulter. The act also limits one’s contribution to the community as a whole. Besides the consequences as mentioned earlier, there are results related to increased depression, post-traumatic stress or even victims committing suicide. The study, therefore, focuses more on the effects of sexual assault and the preventive measures or legal ways of eliminating such incidents within college setups.

Discussions.

The management of college institutions should impose policies and procedures aiming at eliminating sexual assaults and its withering consequences. The school should work hand in hand with the trained law-enforcement officials to investigate issues related to sexual assaults as well as making right adjudications to the assaulters in order to be scourged. The criminal justice system has the mandate to investigate sexual assault cases reported to them with lots of seriousness. A number of college women have felt betrayed based on their untold cases by the criminal justice system; therefore, majority believes that their allegations are not prioritized as an alarming issue (Bondurant, 2001).

The law requires every institution of higher learning to report incidents related to sexual assaults as well as to track individuals who engage in sexual misconducts that create hostile environment for women, in particular. The federal regulations (the Clerk Act) work towards eliminating the sexual harassment and make immediate actions to perpetrators those who indulge in such negative behaviors. The institutions, however, have failed to surrender sexual assaults cases to the legal bodies that deal with crime issues, but rather handled them administratively. The law requires all perpetrators be subjected to the law in order to face crime consequences though institutions do offer discipline, for example, suspension or expulsion to the victims without referring them to the criminal justice systems.

Policies and procedures should be enacted within learning institutions to address issues relating to sexual assaults. The campus fraternity should collaborate in ensuring that sexual assaults problems and other misconduct behaviors are addressed fully. The administrator, staff, as well as students, should be incorporated into the policy development process in order to enhance smooth guidelines on how such issues can be handled. Prior to policy formulation process, colleges need to determine laws, rules, the reporting requirements as well as penalties that criminal justice system imposed on the victims. A broad inquiry should be done from health-care providers, police and community service providers on how they deal with sexual assault cases. Networking with all the above bodies will facilitate counseling, investigations, and adjudication to be made to perpetrators.

When policies and procedures are set, the information to be passed must always be accurate and precise; availed to every individual within the campus. The descriptive definition of sexual assault and its repercussions must be underlined. It aids to inform members why such conducts constitute criminal offenses that are punishable by law. Policies should also encourage members to report such cases whenever they experience them. Reporting cases help in laying down measures taken to those who may attempt to retaliate to victims. Reports made on sexual assaults also help to minimize such offenses as well as to enhance an accurate record keeping. Individuals with legal experience of handling crime cases are assigned duty of coordinating communications from scene occurrence and the proceedings.

The anti-sexual violence efforts have emerge as a result of sexual assaults experienced by different individuals; however, the act should be prevented prior to the occurrence. As clarified by Morrison, et al., (2004), educational sessions have serve best towards avoiding issues related to sex assaults. The course aims at empowering members with knowledge to be agents of change. The educational sexual violence addresses the impacts of gender roles in conjunction with living a healthy relationship and maintaining or respecting personal boundaries. Indeed, sexual assault is a crime, and many of the victims who survive from the case need to turn to criminal justice system to find the best solution to their problems.

Other individuals have sought help from their respective colleges. It is evident that through federal law, individuals who indulge in sexual assaults are subjected to act. The primary aim of criminal justice system is to adjudicate perpetrator’s guilt and serve justice as required by the law, however, learning institutions have broader responsibilities i.e. to provide safe learning environment for all learners. The schools, therefore, should offer students full support as well as give advice on the issues related to sexual violence within institution. Institutions should also conduct an adequate investigation in order to find out what happened. Assaulter is also sanctioned under their mandate.

Sexual assault survivors do need both immediate and long-term services to help them gain personal confidence and safety. Victims also need advocates to accompany them to the medical as well as legal appointments. Centers such as rape crisis centers can also help schools meet the requirements for better service within the institutional premise. They, therefore, continue offering service delivery to the victims, give a longer-term therapy to the affected, and community education on the effects of sexual violence. Rape crisis centers also provide training services to students and the entire subordinate to enhance prevention of such assault cases through initiating prevention programs.

The local law enforcement is very vital when cases dealing with sexual assaults are experienced. Nevertheless, the criminal investigation should not relieve learning institutions of their mandate to do their  investigations nor the schools to leave full responsibility to the criminal justice system to follow up the case proceedings in their absence. The two bodies should work corporately aiming to provide justice to everyone based on their conducts. The federal government should act on forefront to strengthen the enforcement efforts and to enhance coordination through federal agencies.

Conclusion.

It is high time every individual in the society to take precaution of the dire consequences of sexual assaults. Women in most cases are the victims of sexual violence as opposed to men within learning institutions (colleges). The government through the federal agencies should take an initiative in dealing with such cases by incorporating criminal justice systems to enhance justice to the affected. Students are also called upon to report issues related to rape, sexual assaults and misconduct behaviors that may lead to mental torture.

Leave a Reply