The College Rape Overcorrection

Dark_Falcon12/15/2014 5:19:55 pm PST

re: #8 iossarian

Knowing several people who do this work at universities, I can tell you that in my experience this isn’t really true - the people who do the reporting are usually well insulated from people who would have a vested interest in “keeping the numbers down”.

My impression is that the type of counseling that was described in the UVa article and portrayed as discouraging victims from going to the police is actually something of recommended practice in such circles: the victim should be presented with an array of clearly explained options including filing criminal charges, but should not be pressured into a particular decision. Given the crappy state of the legal system, many choose not to bother.

Obviously that’s a pro-university point of view. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

I’m gravitating towards the view that the 51% evidence rule should be used by universities to enforce a no-contact penalty (which could mean suspension) on first offences, in parallel with whatever happens via the criminal justice system. Being clear about the rules up front places the onus on students to be pretty sure they have consent, and education on the topic can help them to grasp what that means.

I could see that as viable, as long as the rules for proceedings are spelled out in advance, the accused is told in advance what he is accused of having done wrong and there is a proper hearing with the presentation of testimony and evidence so the accused has a chance to clear his name.

Things can be made tolerably fair without putting victims through the wringer, but only with extensive preparation and good procedure.

As for the legal system, I’m sorry but I have to disagree in at least some cases. If anything even close to what ‘Jackie’ said had happened actually did happen to her then the police need to be involved. Because the sort of man who would instigate a gang rape is not going to be a one-time offender, and there is an overriding societal interest in apprehending such a man. So for cases where the rape was planned out in advance, I would argue the police need to be brought in unless they are incompetent, even if bringing them in causes the victim anguish. When dealing with sexual predators, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”