Clery Act Data Demolishes Campus Sexual Assault Narrative
A recent report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) explaining the 2015 report on sexual assault mandated by the Clery Act admitted that nearly 9 in 10 college campuses reported zero instances of rape in 2015. This clearly contradicts the liberal argument that one in five women on college campuses suffer rape or other forms of sexual assault.
"Eighty-nine percent of college campuses disclosed zero reported incidences of rape in 2015," the AAUW admitted. "With about 11,000 campuses providing annual crime data, an overwhelming majority of schools certified that in 2015 they did not receive a single report of rape."
Could there be a clearer denunciation of the "rape culture" narrative? Liberals argue that victims of sexual assault are less likely to report them, and this is supported by a national crime victimization survey which found that 65 percent of victims do not report the assault.
Even so, 20 percent of the 12.7 million women in American colleges would still be 2.54 million, and 35 percent of those would be 889,000. It beggars belief to think that if so many rapes and sexual assaults actually occurred, that 89 percent of American college campuses would be able to get away with reporting zero incidents.
Rather than taking this data as a reason to reconsider their basic premises, the AAUW dismissed the numbers as evidence that "some students continue to feel uncomfortable coming forward to report such incidents at some schools." Some schools?! Try almost 9 in 10 schools.
Is it more plausible that almost 90 percent of schools are somehow able to hide sexual assault cases, to convince their female students not to report them, or that there simply are much fewer cases of rape and sexual assault than liberals claim?
As K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. explain in their book The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America's Universities, the one-in-five figure requires that at least 2 million women on college campuses would be assaulted while in college, which translates to between 400,000 and 500,000 sexual assaults per year.
The 1990 Clery Act requires every college to report the total number of student sexual assaults, and between 2012 and 2014, campuses reported an annual average of between 4,558 and 5,335 sexual assaults — barely 1 percent of the expected number.
Why does the one-in-five statistic persist? Many surveys about sexual assault do not actually ask respondents whether they were raped or sexually assaulted. Instead, they ask broad questions about sexual activity, and then interpret certain types of activity as sexual assault, even though the women involved may not categorize it that way. Even these surveys often have extremely low response rates, which makes them even less reliable.
This tenuous one-in-five claim has wreaked havoc on college campuses. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) established by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1973 was never intended to regulate sexual behavior among students, but after a tumultuous period in the 1990s and most importantly a "Dear Colleague" letter from the Obama administration in 2011, that began to change.
The "Dear Colleague" letter encouraged federally funded universities to adjudicate sexual assault claims themselves, rather than handing them over to the police.
This led to campus kangaroo courts, run by administrators who have been indoctrinated to believe that every alleged victim of sexual assault is telling the truth. This belief comes from two debunked studies from retired University of Massachusetts psychologist David Lisak, arguing that most sexual assault is perpetrated by serial predators who must be convicted and removed.
Such views lead to an absurd deference to those who claim to be victims. One of the most terrifying examples happened in January.
An anonymous male student expelled from Amherst College for sexual assault sued the college, claiming he is innocent. The student argued that there is clear evidence supporting his claim, and attempted to subpoena the woman who accused him to turn over incriminating text messages.
A judge blocked the lawsuit, arguing that re-litigating the matter "would impose emotional and psychological trauma" on the accuser. "What trauma," Stuart Taylor asked in a statement to PJ Media. "The trauma of making up a lie?" Taylor said the judge "is an accessory after the fact to this woman's vicious lie."
More pernicious may be the trend of women accusing black men in particular of sexual assault. Black basketball star Dez Wells was expelled from Cincinnati's Xavier University in 2012 for allegedly raping another student, but a criminal investigation convinced the county prosecutor that the allegation was false. The prosecutor even considered charging Wells' accuser with a crime.
Xavier denied Wells basic rights — legal representation and the right to cross-examine his accuser — and expelled him even while the county prosecutor asked them to wait. The prosecutor made a public statement exonerating wells, and convinced the NCAA to allow him to play basketball immediately after he transferred to the University of Maryland.
Nevertheless, two women yelled jabs at Wells during an NCAA championship basketball game, declaring that "Dez is still a [expletive] RAPIST."
Johnson and Taylor explained many cases in their book, but one black man's story proved particularly harrowing. This student (given the pseudonym "James Hays") was accused of sexual assault by a white female fellow student for an unwanted kiss attempt. The campus removed Hays from his dorm before giving him a chance to defend himself.
Hays' mother recalled that the young man "just stayed in his room and was severely depressed, never left his bed. He couldn't eat or sleep. Every night at home he had horrible screaming nightmares. ... He said he thought about suicide all the time, and he tried once."
"As black Americans, we have always been cautioned about white women wanting to entrap black men, especially in the South, where interracial dating was taboo," Hays' mother explained. "When my son and this girl first started 'fooling around,' he told me reluctantly [that] she didn't want anyone to know. Especially her ex. That's a big red flag for me."
Taylor told PJ Media that black men are "probably disproportionately" accused of sexual assault.
Finally, the shift from allowing police to handle sexual assault on college campuses to setting up special courts for it not only denies the accused legal rights, but also means that when a real rapist is convicted in these campus courts, the worst punishment possible is expulsion, which leaves a rapist free to harm women off the campus grounds. Society will be safer if rapists and sexual assaulters are dealt with by the legal system, not internal college courts.
It is vitally important that liberal activists and college administrators acknowledge that 89 percent of colleges have reported zero rapes, and that this provides stunning evidence against the "rape culture" myth. Lives are being destroyed by the campus sex bureaucracy, which denies the accused fundamental legal rights and makes justice against true sexual offenders more difficult to come by.
The "Dear Colleague" letter must be reversed, in the interests of truth and justice. This recent report only underscores its pernicious effects, and how it was based on faulty data.