Less than a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared fighting sexual assault on campus to be a national priority, campus police groups have gathered in San Antonio to begin to take action on the issue, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Police chiefs are meeting with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault to come up with plans for cracking down on what the TAASA says is a very serious and worsening problem on the state’s college campuses.
TAASA Executive Director Anne Burrhus-Clay says a woman between the ages of 16 and 24 is far more likely to be the victim of a sexual assault if she is in college. She says the problem isn’t inaction by camp[us police, it is public relations concerns by administrators.
“You frequently have administrators who are concerned about the reputation of the college,” she said. “They don’t want to have parents who start thinking that this is a dangerous place for their daughters to be.”
But she said one idea being discussed with campus officials are ways to use crack downs on sexual assault on campus as a way to show prospective students and their parents that the campus is safer than most, and arrests, prosecutions, and expulsions show that the problem is being addressed.
She says the problem is real.
“Overall, the rate of reporting and prosecution of sexual assaults has gotten better over the past twenty years, but on campus it really has not.”
Burrhus-Clay says a serious problem is a culture that remains on many college campuses that certain male students, from members of prominent fraternities to sons of big donors, and especially to prominent athletes, the rules don’t apply, and they can get away with sexual assault without being held accountable.
“I think there is a stronger sense of entitlement with certain members on certain campuses,” she said.