Nearly two thirds of all sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, according to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
“Very few sexual assaults are the ones where somebody jumps out of the bushes,” said Renee Douglas, a counseling therapist here at Ferris. “That is kind of the myth, that when we hear the word rape it is automatically associated with a violent act.”
While many cases of assault go unreported, Douglas also said that there has been an increase in people coming forward who are willing to talk about what happened to them, both to the counseling center and the police.
[PullQuote1 quote=”…the way (the system) is set up, if a female comes forward and says she was sexually assaulted, based on the legal definition and our definition, it is assault” author=”Renee Douglas” title=”Counseling Therapist Ferris State University”]
In a previous article published in the Torch on sexual assault, an FSU male, who was involved in a case of alleged rape, stated that he felt whatever the female says goes, and that there is a bias in the system against males.
In relation to this issue, Douglas said, “the victim can also be a male, and we don’t want to forget that…but the way (the system) is set up, if a female comes forward and says she was sexual assaulted, based on the legal definition and our definition, it is assault.”
Douglas had also said that in almost every case of acquaintance rape that occurs here on campus, alcohol is a factor. She said that when substances are involved and there is any question of whether or not consent is present, don’t do it.
Another case that Douglas discussed involved two students where the male honestly believed that there was consent, but the female disagreed. She said that people are generally telling the truth, but there is a bias against the pursuer, regardless of gender.
National statistics reported from RAINN state that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, while only one in 33 males will be the victim. RAINN also stated that college women are four times more likely than anyone else to be assaulted. The age range of 18-24 currently has the highest risk.
While Ferris has many programs set up to help a victim of rape get through their situation, there are also programs that attempt to raise awareness in hopes of preventing situations like these from happening.
For more information on these programs and other statistics, check out the resources on the Ferris web site as well as the RAINN Web site at rainn.org.
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two part series concerning sexual assault on campus. You can read the first part here.