The President of a conservative women’s organization told sources that a definitional problem in the universities’ description of the sexual violence makes it difficult to know what could be learned from the newly released data on the crime at institutions of higher studies.
Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum said, “When one person or school says ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault,’ it may be referring to something different than when someone else says it, so we aren’t comparing apples to apples.” She was discussing the annual security reports universities release annually on Oct 1st as federally mandated under the Jean Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Statistics Act (Clery Act).
The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery, the 19 year old who was raped and murdered in her dormitory room by a fellow student at the Lehigh University in year 1986. The act or the policy requires that the college documents all the crimes that occur on the campus, outline the safety policies intact and compile all the information in the annual reports containing data from past 3 years.
Majority of the universities reviewed adhered to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics’ definition of rape. However, campus feminists and administrators have started to loosen the definition to the point of near meaninglessness. Lukas points out that there is a vast difference between the way “consent” is defined from school to school. She notes, “for example, to some people consent is impossible when intoxicated, but not everyone. This graying of definitions drives the numbers, and that’s how we get statistics like ‘one in five.'”
The famous “one in five “phrase is in reference to a spurious statistic that erroneously claims that one in five women are sexually assaulted on a U.S. college campus. She said that when she and others question such claims they are accused of not taking the violence and crimes against women seriously.
Lukas says, “The opposite is true, we are demanding that a serious problem be treated seriously, and that starts with defining the problem correctly.”
She further explains, “We have to prioritize what is preventable and punishable. That means having an actual justice system responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases, and teaching young men and women to take more responsibility and take action that helps avoid bad outcomes.”
She added that the sexual violence reforms advocates who call the preventative education, “victim shaming” or “victim blaming” aren’t “doing our young women any favors.” She said, “We teach our kids to take precautions in all of their other activities. If you’re walking in a neighborhood with a high crime rate, you are told to be alert and vigilant. Why on this issue aren’t we allowed to discuss those measures?”
With the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolling out the reforms of the Title IX policies that guide the approach of the administrations to campus sexual violence, Lukas says that the country may be poised to get rid of the harmful ambiguity, and start focusing on actually protecting women on campus – instead of trying to score points with radical campus feminists.