Amherst College and UMass Amherst: Safely Unsafe?

Sexual assault and rape are widely controversial issues across the country. Seemingly every day a new case is in the news. In college environments, rape is not uncommon, despite cases rarely being surfaced. Even in Amherst sexual abuse cases have been occurring.

Recently, in the Amherst Student, an op-ed article ran about an Amherst College girl who was raped on campus and faced endless trauma. The girl faced troubles with Amherst College faculty and felt like “a prisoner”. The piece was so shocking that Amherst College decided to cancel its classes in order to hold sexual misconduct awareness events.

Sadly, that is not the only sexual abuse case recently discovered in Amherst. An article ran in the Daily Collegian at the end of October documenting the rape of a girl in the Southwest residential area. Four males came to her on campus dormitory and raped her. The girl reported the assault to authorities and an ongoing investigation is in the works.

It is shocking that rape and sexual abuse cases so ubiquitous in the news are happening so close to us. How often is this occurring on these campuses?

Here are some facts from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network that I am about to drop on you (brace yourselves, some are pretty eye opening):

  • 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18; 80% are under the age of 30
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is being sexually assaulted
  • Each year, there are approximately 207, 754 victims of sexual assault
  • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to police; 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail
  • About 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim

Those are some jaw dropping numbers. Universities need to find ways to prevent this from happening on their campuses. It simply isn’t acceptable. And if this continues occurring, parents will hesitate about sending their children to those universities. Safety should always be the first priority for universities, and that has seriously come into question at both Amherst College and UMass Amherst in the previous weeks.


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