A key word to remember when discussing sexual assault is “reported.”
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, only 20 percent of female college-age sexual assault victims report their assault to law enforcement. In a previous article by Heath Owens for the East Tennessean, Owens reported that ETSU is doing more to educate students on sexual assault, which may be the reason why the amount of reports has increased.
“These new programs include HAVEN, an online training to be taken by every incoming student; a required climate survey that will anonymously assess how students have been affected by or perpetrated sexual violence; and bystander intervention education,” Owens wrote.
From June 1, 2015, to May 2, 2016, there were 10 cases of sexual assault reported to the ETSU Department of Public Safety. In comparison to the 2014-2015 academic year, the amount of reported sexual assaults has doubled.
The reasons victims do not report their assault varies. RAINN lists two reasons: “fear of reprisal” and “believed it wasn’t important enough to report it.”
The main reason that the majority of sexual assaults go unreported is that 90 percent of sexual assault victims know their attacker, according to a statistic from the ETSU counseling center’s OASIS program.
Eight of the sexual assaults reported last academic year were by a “male acquaintance,” including one statutory rape. The other two assaults were committed by someone unknown to the victim.
Although RAINN reports that 23.1 percent of female students and 5.4 percent of male students experience rape through sexual physical force, only women have reported their sexual assaults to ETSU in the past two years.
In the most recent cases of reported sexual assault on August 29 and 31, one female student was sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance in her residence hall and another was fondled by a non-student male acquaintance in her residence hall room. The name of the residence halls were not disclosed to help keep the identities of the students anonymous.
The assaults that occurred this week correlate with both ETSU’s and RAINN’s statistic stating the majority of on campus sexual assaults occur from August-November. This is referred to as “the Red Zone,” and seven out of the 10 reported sexual assaults last year occurred from June to November.
Those who wish to report an incident should call Public Safety at 439-4480 or visit etsu.edu/violencefree/.