Sexual assault: statistics versus stories

By Delaney Barr


Butler University needs to look deeper into the issue of sexual assault on campus.
The statistics available on Butler University Police Department’s Daily Crime Logs indicate sexual assault is not a big part of this college campus. Eight cases of sexual assault, harassment or rapes have been reported from January to September of 2012.
However, senior Kate Siegfried, the student leader of a movement to reform Butler’s sexual assault policy, said, “[It happens] far more often than reported.”
Some people say women should better protect themselves from sexual assault by being more preared and made aware. Self-defense classes are available through the BUPD and courses taught at the Health and Recreation Complex.
The other side of the story is attacking the problem at its core: those who committ the assaults. “We need to teach rapists not to rape,” Siegfried said, ”instead of telling girls to dress more conservatively, drink less, walk in groups, etc.”
While preparation and information are valuable, increased action from the BUPD would also be welcomed.
None of the sexual assault cases from January 2012 to August 2012 have been closed. Four of the cases remain “open,” one has been “referred to the Office of Student Affairs,” and three have been labeled “no further action.”
In order to improve the atmosphere on campus, a group of students, faculty and staff convened over the summer to introduce programming  that will be available to the students throughout this semester.
“[Organizations on campus, including Demia Feminist Majority Alliance and the new Butler Strong group,] are going to have conversations,” said Siegfried, “about consent, bystander intervention, and sexual inclusivity so that we can have a student body that’s informed, aware and comfortable with their sexual decisions.”