Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reflections on the Gang Rape on Hofstra's Campus

Current Events: Gang Rape on Hofstra’s Campus

The Associated Press on September 15, 2009 reported they were covering a sexual assault of an eighteen year old college student. The ironic thing is AP did not recognize that the eighteen year old’s sexual assault is actually a gang rape, which shows us that either the term was too strong for the AP to include in their article, or they themselves were not aware what type of sexual assault actually occurred, The NYC Alliance against Sexual Violence definition of gang rape is “Forced or coerced sexual activities by two or more persons known or unknown to the victim (”
The facts of the case include the following:
· Police stated the eighteen year old student was at a dance party at an on-campus nightclub;
· The female had danced with one of the suspects, and he snatched her cell-phone and ran away with it;
· The female ran after the assailant, while screaming she wanted her phone back;
· The assailant then entered the dormitory and went inside an elevator where the female followed him.
· Once he walked out of the elevator, the man met another acquaintance;
· The two men then tied the girl’s hands with a rope and took her into the men’s bathroom where they sexually assaulted her and left her;
· Three men later entered the men’s room, and the female pleaded with the newcomers for help, and all three men also sexually assaulted her one by one;
· The police have identified one of the men, Rondell Bedward, 21, from the Bronx, who was the only Hofstra student, and had signed in the other four as his guests in the dormitory.

This case brings up many questions and presents how college campuses can serve as places where non-students can perpetrate a crime. The perpetrators had methodically planned out the gang rape, for they actually lured the victim by stealing her cell phone, and then tying her up. Such a crime shows planning. We also have to admit that this case shows the failure of campus security, and most deplorably the failure of fellow students, staff, and faculty. This occurred in a dormitory, which is inhabited by students. Where were the students who lived in these dormitories? Are students that dismissive and apathetic of their surroundings that a woman can get gang-raped, and no one even intervenes, or even hears about it? I am not blaming Hofstra or anyone for what occurred, and it must be noted this event can occur on any college campus, and sadly does occur. But what we must draw attention to is the lack of awareness on the issue of sexual assault on campuses. If students , staff, and faculty are more aware, then we are more aware of such an incident occurring, which means we can prevent sexual assaults from occurring. I am not advocating for being paranoid and monitoring everything that goes on around you, but I am advocating for the spread of awareness of crimes that occur on college campuses, and realizing that just because it is a college campus does not mean individuals who do not attend the campus cannot commit crimes on the campus.

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