“Inspiring Young Activists Band Together Across America to End College Rape Culture” by Julianne Ross

In this article, Julianne Ross reveals the work of eight college students who are advocating to make campuses safer for everyone and to eliminate rape culture.  This is an excerpt from a recent PolicyMic article.  The source of this article is http://www.policymic.com/articles/87181/inspiring-young-activists-band-together-across-america-to-end-college-rape-culture

Image courtesy of PolicyMic.

Image courtesy of PolicyMic.

“Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) recently deemed U.S. universities “havens for rape and sexual assault.” Unfortunately, she’s right.

On March 31, an anonymous Harvard student published a searing op-ed in the Crimson, the university’s student-run newspaper, criticizing the school for its poor handling of sexual assault cases. The piece came directly on the heels of two other high-profile incidents highlighting the urgent reality of rape culture on college campuses. Just five days prior,BuzzFeed published a damning exposé about the “sexual assault civil war” at Occidental College. Two weeks before that, more than 50,000 people signed a petition started by the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet demanding Dartmouth “take action immediately to curb [its] sexual assault crisis.”

Colleges clearly have a problem, and students aren’t willing to stand for it any longer. From coast to coast, brave student activists are taking a stand for survivors and holding those in power accountable.

As daunting as it is to go up against a school administration, it’s more important than ever for students to do so. Studies show that 1 in 5 women will be victims of completed or attempted sexual assault during their college career, yet less than 5% of assaults get reported to law enforcement. Too often campuses promote an atmosphere of silence, discouraging survivors from speaking out to due to fear of punishment or retaliation.

With President Obama’s recent creation of a task force to coordinate federal enforcement efforts on school campuses, there has never been a better time to keeping fighting. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, eight of the most inspiring young activists across the country told PolicyMic about the realities of fighting institutionalized rape culture. Here are their ideas for how to make campuses safer for everyone.”

This is a significantly shortened excerpt.  To read the full article, please visit http://www.policymic.com/articles/87181/inspiring-young-activists-band-together-across-america-to-end-college-rape-culture

Julianne Ross is an editor at PolicyMic focusing on feminism, gender, sexuality and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Feministing, and Boston.com, and been mentioned by The Rumpus, The Millions, Huffington Post, The Mary Sue and more.