Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Importance of Meeting

First of all I would like to express my enthusiasm in having a blog that gives students a chance to ask questions about the progress of actually having a CUNY wide Sexual Assault Policy. The first thing that is important to stress every time we speak of the need of a preventative CUNY wide Sexual Assault Policy are the harrowing statistics.

· The U.S Department of Justice reported there were 248, 300 sexual assaults in 2007
· In the United States, there is one sexual assault every two minutes
· College Aged Women are 4 times more likely to be sexually assaulted (RAINN.ORG)

Effects of Sexual Assault
· 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
· 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide
· 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol
· 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder(RAINN.ORG)

Perpetrators of Sexual Assault
· 60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police
· Only about 6% of rapists ever spend time in jail
· 15 of 16 walk free(RAINN.ORG)

Therefore the immediacy of advocating for the policy’s passage and the educational component is vital to the reduction of such high sexual assault numbers. It is truly important for the TASKFORCE to meet regularly. Without frontline advocates, CUNY will not feel the pressure to pass, implement or the urgency of a preventative sexual assault policy. Based upon the survey conducted by Jerin and Elischa on CUNY students, 60-86% of students were not aware of their university’s sexual assault policy. Even if there is a sexual assault policy, the choice for the victim is to use the criminal justice system. If we use the statistics of the criminal justice’s response to sexual assault where 60% are not reported, we have a predominant theme, which is silence on the crime of sexual assault. Silence equals condoning sexual assault for perpetrators. As such the frontline advocates and representatives of the student body, which include and represent 400,000 students, must meet regularly to convey the message of the urgency of having a PREVENTIVE CUNY-WIDE SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH AN EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT IN PLACE.
Please respond with your views and thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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