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The Hilltop

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letter To The Editor: Sexual Assault Is A Hate Crime

By Daisha Chambers

Editor’s Note: Daisha Chambers is a current Howard University student.

Dear Editor,

The history of campus sexual assault research appears to be prevalent, but alarming. Because the context of the culture or subculture studies varies, there appears to be a lack of seriousness in sexual assault cases. I believe that Howard University must assemble informational meetings and workshops regarding the topic, expressing great concern and providing knowledge for victims. Whether there are reports on the crime or not, there must be some type of awareness on the topic which further impels victims to come forward.

Let’s be clear: Sexual assault is a hate crime. It is not taken as seriously as it should and it is continuously booming throughout a multitude of United States college campuses today. The act of sexual assault or rape places a solemn burden on the victims. Not only do sexual assault victims experience physical discomfort, but also emotional, mental, and psychological discomfort following the assault. There should be more focus towards the needs of victims during the crisis and providing timely, appropriate medical, mental-health, and legal assessment and care by specially trained and experienced professionals in a timely manner.

Sexual assault research and the sex researcher have played and still do play an important role in providing benchmarks for sexual practices, elucidating general understandings, and providing the content for ideological debates about the right and wrong of sexuality in society. There are more sexual assault crimes that go unreported than reported amongst college campuses. The problem is that the issues surrounding campus sexual assault are more complicated than the public debate reflected. Howard University must establish a victim and survivor-centered approach and reveal just how much its policies are unambiguous. It is essential for Howard University administration and campus police—in partnership with local law enforcement—to provide resources to victims and/or survivors of sexual assault and encourage legal options.

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Due to the severity of the crime, Howard University must make it a priority to utilize the opportunity to launch a platform for all students to feel comfortable with discussing the causes, consequences, and nature of the crime. Putting victims’ health and safety first is a huge obligation in the case of campus sexual assault on students. As a community within a college campus, it is our duty to begin and continue to work together on behalf of the students. It is important to maintain resilient community partnerships as we participate in the commitment towards ending sexual assault and rape on and off college campuses.

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