Sexual assault still a serious issue

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We applaud Jefferson Davis Community College for joining with colleges and universities across the nation this year, to recognize “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” (SAAM).

We are all used to colored ribbons representing different causes — pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, yellow ribbons for military troops, etc.

However, we might not be aware that the color teal also has an important meaning, as it is the color for sexual assault awareness. JDCC’s campus was decked in that color this week, as the students participated in several activities to increase their knowledge of sexual assault, and to know that help is available if they become victims.

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It makes perfect sense for this issue to be a serious focus on college campuses. Young people at that age are often sexually active, and when you add alcohol and increased hormones to the mix, the result can often be horrific. We would certainly love to just stick our heads in the sand and hope that the issue goes away, but that’s not a solution. The solution is to fight it head on, and that is what colleges like JDCC are doing.

Just how widespread is the danger of sexual assault? Jennifer Pollitte, an employee with JDCC, shared some sobering statistics:

• One in five women will be a victim of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college (Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher and Martin, 2007).

• One in 16 men will be a victim of sexual assault during college (Krebs et al., 2007).

• Among college women, nine out of 10 victims of rape and sexual assault know the person who assaulted them (Fisher, Cullen and Turner, 2000).

• More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on campuses do not report the assaults (Fisher et al., 2000).

• Forty percent of college and universities reported not investigating a single sexual assault in the last five years (U.S. Senate Subcommittee, 2014).

Bravo to JDCC for doing what it can to fight this horrible crime.