This archived article was written by: Kira Tadehara
Rape happens and that is simply not something we can ignore. Talking about rape makes people uncomfortable, but joking about rape makes people laugh. I’m here to make you uncomfortable.
According to the Rape Recovery Center, “one in three women in Utah will report that they have been a victim of some form of sexual violence in her lifetime and one in eight women will report being raped.” Essentially, choose three female friends and come to the realization that they will be violently assaulted. That’s an uncomfortable statistic but even more so when we confront the idea of the Dark Figure of Crime; crime and criminal acts that are never reported. But why are they never reported? After all, our justice system is surely there to help the survivors get justice and put criminals behind bars, right? Technically, no, because our system is made entirely of human error. We live in this culture where it is easier to question that perhaps someone is lying about his or her assault than to believe that someone else could actually commit such a heinous act. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone, because we often see what other people go through. “What was she wearing? Did he flirt too much? They could have said no. They asked for it!” There is also retaliation in which the survivor comes forward and the criminal will use tactics of intimidation and force to coerce the survivor against speaking up.
There’s this idea that survivors, mostly women, will report a rape only to ruin someone’s life. False rape reports is approximately 1-8 percent, which is exactly the same as every other crime.
All choices after your assault are up to you; you are in power.
What to do on campus if you or your friend is assaulted: It is always a good idea to go to the hospital within 72 hours preferably for a rape kit, emergency contraception, and rape crisis help. “DNA Evidence from a crime like sexual assault can be collected from the crime scene, but it can also be collected from your body, clothes, and other personal belongings. You may choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam, sometimes known as a ‘rape kit,’ to preserve possible DNA evidence and receive important medical care. You don’t have to report the crime to have an exam, but the process gives you the chance to safely store evidence should you decide to report at a later time. Try avoiding a shower or using the restroom and take all the article of clothing with you to the hospital. It is a good idea to take a friend and an extra set of clothes. A school counselor can also go with you.
If you feel comfortable calling in and reporting it, call the campus police. Dispatch: (435) 637-0890.
Title IX is your friend. If you would like USU Eastern to take formal action against your classmate, Tammy Auberger is the Title IX Coordinator (435-613-5678). Title IX can remove the assailant from student housing, from your classes, or from going to school and being on campus entirely. Formal action for Title IX must be taken for these things to happen and if you wish not to take such actions, talk to your Hall Director to get the person moved away from you. Counseling is available for you if you are comfortable. Every choice is up to you! From whether you would like to report or not, no one can make this decision except for you.