Letter to the Editor: Take action to prevent rape

Editor:

I wanted to comment on the article in the April 8 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle (“Forum looks at lack of reported U rapes”) about the rape awareness forum that was held on April 7. The article stated that “Not many people reported being raped last year on campus, according to U police, and not many people attended Wednesday’s rape awareness forum, either.”

First of all, I did not even hear about the forum until I was reading The Chronicle on April 8, a little too late to attend it. My suggestion would be to please advertise for these events a little bit better! I would have loved to attended the forum, but since I did not even know about it until it was over, I obviously was not able to attend.

The second thing I wanted to point out is that even though only a few rapes are reported on the U campus per year, that does not mean people are not being raped. According to many studies, rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today.

It is estimated that almost 25 percent of college women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since the age of 14, and 90 percent of college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape know their assailants. These rapes are not from strangers attacking women in dark alleys-these are acquaintance rapes: friends, classmates, dates and co-workers who are raping women they know.

Fewer than 5 percent of college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape report it to the police. With numbers like these, it is impossible to believe that there are really only “zero to three per year” on our campus.

Rape, especially acquaintance rape, needs to receive much more attention from university administrators than it is currently given. Education opportunities need to be offered, maybe even required, so that both men and women have a knowledge of what rape is-and what rape isn’t-so they can prevent themselves from becoming either victims or rapists.

Much can be done to prevent individuals from being victims of rape and I believe the U needs to take a stand to protect its students.

Natalie Ferguson

Junior, Sociology