Sexual assault prevention programs need to improve
A serious conversation needs to be had about sexual assault in colleges.
Many colleges in the U.S. have taken the initiative by creating aggressive anti-rape campaigns, but some countries’ programs are combating this calamity more effectively than others.
Canada, for one, has recently implemented anti-rape programs at several universities that place heavy influence on assessing the risk, learning self-defense and governing their sexual boundaries.
These programs have proved a “rare success,” according to The New York Times.
This program takes a differential approach that has resulted in positive numbers of women who are better prepared mentally and physically in the event of potential rape.
Students were able to take four, three-hour classes, where sessions were guided to include role-playing, discussions and problem solving.
In these sessions, students learned how to break wrist holds and choke hold. The class presented attacks in different social contexts, offering women the confidence to choose the most effective strategies.
UH’s Coogs Get Consent program allocates clear-cut guidelines that define what “rape” means and what proper “consent” to sexual relations is.
When UH opens its doors to so many students a year, having guidelines to refer to in light of “consent” appears menial in comparison to Canada’s new implemented program.
But Coogs get Consent isn’t a program that has given real statistical evidence of rape-prevention and proven results that students can trust.
Rape prevention at UH seems to not be taken as importantly as all the student-led activities throughout the semester or all the football games advertised.
Walking through campus, you will find a plethora of fliers for activities and food as well as job listings and clubs, but the lack of rape prevention programs is apparent.
According to studies conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of rape for 451 women randomly assigned to the program was about 5 percent, compared with nearly 10 percent among 442 women in a control group who were given brochures and a brief information session.
The study also concluded that the risk of attempted rape was lower among 3.4 percent of women who received the training, compared with 9.3 percent among those who did not.
Without researching the program intentionally, one might assume that there is only a student handbook for such a touchy subject.
According to the National Sexual Violence Center, the percentage of successful or attempted rape victimization among women in higher schools may be between 20 percent and 25 percent over the course of a college career. Among college students, nine out of 10 victims of rape and sexual assault knew their offender.
Even scarier, it was also concluded that almost 12.8 percent of completed rapes, 35 percent of attempted rapes, and 22.9 percent of threatened rapes happened during a date.
As important as school spirit is to the overall morale of this school, a program benefiting college women from potential rape would be useful for the future leaders of “a house that innovation built.”
UH should re-evaluate its program, and place more emphasis on real interactive self-defense and less on a website that serves as well as Wikipedia.
Opinion columnist Phylicia Sneed is an english senior and may be reached at [email protected]