Radio Times

Sexual assaults on college campuses

April 16, 2012


Students at Dickinson College protest the handling of sexual-assault investigations, March 2011 (AP file photo)

It is estimated that  20 to 25 percent of women will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape while in college, but fewer than 5 percent of these cases go reported. High profile cases at Penn State and Yale University have continued to raise questions about how  universities and colleges deal with sexual assaults and sexual misconduct on their campuses.  While federal laws requiring the reporting and investigation of such complaints are mandated by law, some schools have been lax in doing so and last year the Federal government took note.  One year ago, in April, 2011,  the Department of Education issued a 19-page letter to educators re-emphasizing their responsibility to respond to any complaint of sexual misconduct and going even further by mandating that they had to do so even if the victim did not want to press charges.   In this hour of Radio Times we explore the issues surrounding sexual assaults on college campuses — what colleges can do to ensure the safety of all students and what are their responsibilities when it comes to investigating and hearing complaints. LESLIE GOMEZ and GINA MAISTO SMITH, of the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr, are helping colleges develop policies and procedures to deal with sexual assault on their campuses.  ALISON KISS is executive director of Security on Campus, a non-profit organization that works with college staff and administrators to implement prevention and education programs as well as victims of sexual assault.  They all join us in the studio in this hour of Radio Times.

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