No woman (whether she is dressed provocatively or not) should ever be blamed for her own victimization. Women have a right to dress as they please, without it being perceived as an invitation for sex, nor should there be thoughts that she’s loose (sexually available). The issue to prove was, did any of these women consent to have sex, with their proposed assailants? Current laws state, if a woman is engaged in sex, then does not want to engage in a specific sexual activity, she can say NO to that specific activity. Under such circumstances, rape charges can be brought, as she did not provide consent for that specific sex act. Going out with a person, inviting him to your room, having drinks or even smoking pot is not an excuse or invitation for rape. There is no excuse. As rape is grossly under reported, we should never blame the victim as it discourages reporting.
Glaring statistics show:
- 60% of women will never report their rape
- 44% of victims are under 18 years of age (college freshmen women are particularly vulnerable)
- 97% of rape victimizers, never spend a day in jail
- 2/3 (66%) of assaults are known by their victims
- Every 2 minutes a woman is assaulted in America
Most women will not report rape, for fear of further victimization by the justice system, the accused assailant, ostracized by peers, other students, brought to task regarding her dress or other circumstances surrounding the incident. We MUST always encourage all women to report rape; otherwise, perpetrators continue to get away with this heinous crime.
Without access and review of the process and all the factors, Lincoln undertakes to investigate rape allegations, along with concerns regarding whether all three (3) rape allegations were reported to the local police, access to hearing proceedings (if any), it would be hard to determine guilt in this question of rape..Those who watched the 3.5-minute video have not reviewed sufficient information. I do hope that there was someone more expert in this subject matter at these convocations to share their professional perspectives. Without access to alternative reports (including local police, district attorney, campus police, witnesses, etc.) and review of the annual Campus Crime Report, the information we see in the 3.5-minute video is inconclusive. What we hear is a 3.5-minute video (just reviewed) of President Jennings total 46 minute presentation to the girls. We all know media folk too often take statements out of context. Dr. Jennings, from my limited perspective regarding this matter was attempting to incorporate the federal Campus Sexual Violence Act, signed by President Obama in March 7, 2014. It is now required that prevention and awareness campaigns be implemented on all college campuses. It appears he was attempting to comply with this new federal directive. Dr. Jennings points regarding, how young men perceive, a young woman’s dress is true. We work with young men, and they have clearly misinterpreted and stated, they believe a woman’s provocative dress, gives the perception that she is loose, and sexually available. We let them know; her dress is not an invitation for sex, and opens the door for future legal troubles, if they do not shift their paradigm to self-control.
In this culture, young women have the freedom to dress as they please. We live in a society where young women learn that their value lies in their sexual objectification example Nikki Minaj, Beyonce. However, young women need to understand that young men, (raging hormones) most often interpret their mode of dress as an invitation for sex. I believe that Dr. Jennings (not being expert in this matter) was attempting to comply with federal guidelines. His message during the male convocation that “No means No” is extremely important. Of course, we do not want our young men going to prison, because they did not have full knowledge, or consent was unclear.
Rape is traumatic, and scars its victims for life. I recall a Lincoln University student (friend) shared how she became a victim. She never reported it, because she thought that because her assailant was in her room late at night, as they smoked pot, she thought she would get into trouble with the University administration. However, based on her demeanor and projection she had been raped, by someone in the LU family that she knew! While a long time ago now, the wounds of her trauma remain.
Regrettably, too many of us, have suffered this Gender Based Violence. Unreported, a victimize r continues their anti social behaviors. Rape is a crime that must be always be reported to take true assailants off the streets, and reduce their opportunity to rape another. We must always encourage reporting. In a society where women, particularly young black women are undervalued, we must do all we can to keep them safe from the trauma of rape.