PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – How safe is your daughter or son from sexual violence at college?
The numbers may surprise and alarm you.
Now, the Obama Administration wants to make campuses safer.
No is still no, and most women know the men who rape them. At colleges, alcohol and drugs are often involved.
“I don’t really put myself into situations where that happens to me,” said student Alexis Mazzeo.
But sadly, that Mazzeo believes campus culture makes sexual violence inevitable.
“People drink,” she said, “people get out of control. That’s inevitable. It’s never going to change though.”
President Barack Obama addressed the issue, saying it’s estimated that one out of every five women is sexually assaulted while at college.
But only 12 percent of those assaults are ever reported.
“I would hope that colleges would take this seriously, because I would bet that it would improve their completion rates for students,” said Alison Hall with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.
A White House task force is recommending guidelines for colleges and universities to more aggressively curtail sexual assaults on campus.
“It’s definitely an issue that might never fully be resolved if steps are not taken to fix it,” said student Anna Brewton.
In part, the guidelines urge schools to conduct anonymous surveys about sexual assault cases, to make sure that these crimes, when reported, remain confidential. A new website is also planned, notalone.gov. It would provide victims with information and track enforcement.
“I think there definitely needs to be precautions taken to help victims that have already experienced the trouble,” said student Hunter Green.
The government is equally concerned about sexual assaults against men on campus. The rate of male victims may be as high as one-in-seven.
“It scars men and women for the rest of their lives,” said student Rosa Grant.
The University of Pittsburgh sent a reaction, reading: “We are in total accord with the overriding message of the President’s report…in that spirit we will be reviewing ways in which we can be a part of the national dialogue to continue to work toward solutions, clarity and better coordination on this issue.”
“Go to the colleges where they have those high numbers,” says Alison Hall, “That tells me they aren’t sweeping it under the rug, they’re dealing with it.”