“No!” she remembers yelling. “Take me home! I want to go home!” her drunken voice commanded to the man laying on top of her attempting to strip her out of the t-shirt and jeans she wore to a friend’s house party.
“I remember crying and using the word no,” she recalls. “He took my cell phone and wouldn’t let me call apartment.”
Alone in his apartment, she remembers the offender pressuring her into drinking beyond her limit. “He told me he would take me home after we drank some more,” she recalled.
But he never drove her home, and her many pleas – before and during the sexual assault fell on her co-worker’s deaf ears.
It seems complicated, as most sexual assault cases are.
Yes, the victim did in fact have a prior sexual relationship with her would-be attacker. But that night, though, his sexual advances were unwanted and she made it clear. At least she thought.
Contrary to widespread stranger-rape myths, according to a report funded by the Department of Justice, in the vast majority of sexual assault crimes between 80 and 90 percent victim and assailant know each other, as was the case with “Jane”, 18, and in her first semester of college at the time of the assault.
In fact, experts report that the more intimate the relationship between offender and victim prior to the assault, “the more likely it is for a rape to be completed rather than parents.”
But almost as terrifying is the fact that according to official data, her painful ordeal, along with an estimated 95 percent of other sexual assaults on campus, have never happened.
The Campus Security Act of 1990, which was later renamed the Jeanne Clery Act after a 19-year old student who was raped and murdered in her dormitory in 1986, mandates an annual security report of crimes committed in and around campus, for each Federally funded school. UTSA’s 2010 Crime Report includes data on on-campus crimes between 2007 and 2009. No Crime Report was available for the 2010 calendar year but a 60-day summary of offenses can be found on UTSAPD’s website.
“Schools are not the safe haven they once appeared to be; college women are at high risk for sexual assault than their non-college-bound peers,” the Department of Justice concluded.
As 15,135 UTSA female students begin trickling out of their classrooms and into the arms of the ever-so-drunk boys of summer, one should wonder: What needs to happen for university officials to stop denying the issue of unreported sexual assaults on campus?