Rolling Stone, Campus Sexual Assault, and Know Your IX
A recent controversy about Rolling Stone’s article about sexual assault at the University of Virginia, and the magazine’s subsequent retraction of that article, has sparked lots of conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. Rolling Stone’s handling of the situation was regrettable. But in the maelstrom of criticism, it’s important to remember that the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses is real. At least 85 colleges or universities are under investigation due to concerns about how they handled allegations of sexual assault. Too few campuses are doing the work of not only overhauling policies, but changing a culture on campus that normalizes sexual assault and blames survivors rather than perpetrators.
Our friends at Know Your IX, a national student campaign against gender-based violence, wrote this piece for MSNBC:
“Here’s the thing: Campus violence is very real. The national effort to address these harms has been heavily reported, but the rape, harassment, abuse, and assault started long before journalists turned their attention to our lives. They occur now whether or not you believe Jackie or any other student. But I hope you do.
If we spent all the energy we expend questioning survivors instead preventing violence, just imagine the impact we could have.”