Why is this an issue no one wants to talk about? Why is this an issue I never even heard our first female presidential candidate mention?
Just thinking about the rape epidemic on college campuses literally hijacks me. It’s an issue I’m passionate about—one that I speak and write about. One that I talk to baristas and complete strangers about in coffee shops. Earlier this week I met a beautiful young sorority student from University of Utah, and as we talked about this crisis unfolding on college campuses across the country, the picture she painted was alarming. Hopefully, I’ll be speaking to her crew sooner than later.
“The ‘show ’em a good time’ policy that ‘used sex to sell’ the football program to recruits” isn’t just a Baylor thing, but at Baylor we’re now learning that campus police have likely corroborated with the university and it’s athletic program to sweep a MASSIVE rape scandal under the rug. Reading more in-depth reports of the Baylor rape scandal this morning, tears welled in my eyes, sadness and anger overwhelmed every fiber in my being. In response to the Texas legislature’s request to dig deeper, the Texas Rangers (not the baseball team, but the lawmen) are investigating the sexual assault scandal at Baylor University (the world’s largest Baptist university) for the egregious mishandling of a systemic, campus wide crisis.
According to the Dallas News:
It’s believed there were at least 125 cases of sexual assault or harassment at Baylor — and possibly many more — since 2011.
At least 19 football players — and possibly as many as 31 — have been accused of sexual or domestic assaults since 2011.
But a lawsuit filed in January alleges a crisis of greater proportions. “Based on investigation by lawyers, the suit claimed that 31 Baylor football players committed at least 52 acts of rape, including five gang rapes between 2011 and 2014.” Two of those gang rapes were allegedly committed by TEN or more players at one time.
I don’t know what I want you to do. Call the NCAA 317-917-6222 and demand that they give Baylor’s football program the death penalty? Call your alma mater and ask them what they are doing to curb the rape culture on their campus? How about supporting organizations like National Women’s Law Center, the National organization for Women, or local girl power organizations or programs like Girls On The Run?
I know everyone’s being asked to do a lot these days, so more than anything, talk to your daughter, talk to your sons, be aware of this crisis occurring on college campuses nationwide, be aware of the “hook up” culture, and never accept excuses from anyone who downplays these tragic events by talking about big money, or anything other than what is just, right and verdant. One and four girls being raped or sexually assaulted on college campuses is NOT even fucking close to ok. Nor is one in five, one in ten, one in twenty, one in fifty, or one in a hundred. We’ve got our work cut out for us my friends. But I have hope. Hope for my daughter, hope for your daughter, hope for all the young girls who dream of higher learning at our nation’s college institutions.
Head up, eyes forward, feet moving. Elevate our girls…Elevate our girls and change the world!