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K-State proactive in raising awareness about and providing resources for victims of sexual assault

 

"No" means "no." But some people don't get the message.

Fact: Every six minutes a woman in the United States is raped. Every two minutes an attempted rape occurs.

Bottom line, by the time you have finished reading this introduction, someone somewhere will have been the victim of a sexual assault.

Sometimes the perpetrator will be a stranger, but more often than not the rapist will be someone the victim is acquainted with. Quite simply, date or acquaintance rape is America's No. 1 unreported crime. It's a crime that is quite prevalent on college campuses.

Statistics indicate one in four college women has been raped; that is, has been forced, physically or verbally, actively or implicitly, to engage in sexual activity. It is a crime that continues to be a concern for Kansas State University officials, despite the university's relatively low reported incidents of date or acquaintance rape -- with a special emphasis on "reported" incidents.

The crime is unreported for numerous reasons, many including miscommunication, distrust and embarrassment. Of those reported, the victim often recants the accusation.

The beginning of the new school year marks a renewal of old and the beginning of new friendships and relationships. With people coming into the K-State "family" from around the state and across the country, now is a good time to reinforce the message that "No" means "No" -- a message that resonates loudly at orientation sessions for incoming students and in the university's Policy Prohibiting Sexual Violence. As stated in the policy, sexual violence "is antithetical" to K-State's mission of education, research, and service because the aim of all these efforts is to foster individual growth in a climate of civilized action rather than brute force and violence.

It is in the spirit of a proactive effort that complements those messages as well as K-State's Campaign For Nonviolence (another strong, visible initiative that has been consistent in getting out that kind of information) that we present this special issue of the Media Relations and Marketing Webzine, "Perspectives." This series of articles will provide to the entire Kansas State University community -- K-State students, parents, faculty and staff -- a wealth of information on the university's efforts to raise the level of awareness surrounding this issue and the programs and services available to those who have been victims of sexual abuse. In addition, we hope it reinforces to perpetrators of this heinous crime the consequences of their actions.

We encourage readers who may have been victims of a sexual assault or who may have questions to contact either the Women's Center or the office of student life.

Because "no" does mean "no"!

-- Keener A. Tippin II

 

August 2003