Friday, April 21, 2017

Research Blog #9: Argument and Counter-Argument

After reading many articles and cases on sexual assault, I started to develop a couple different research questions than I intended. In the beginning, my initial research question was: why don't more college women report sexual assaults? With further research, I started to question: why universities go to great lengths to cover up sexual assault crimes. My argument is that college administrations make it difficult for students to report due to possible repercussions of the perpetrator and to protect their reputation. Due to this, there is this "silence" of sexual assault on college campuses. Universities do not report sexual assaults to protect their brand and therefore, undermine this widespread and prevalent issue. In turn, this hinders victims from reporting the crime because they understand that college administrations are unwilling to help them and they refrain from stepping into the public eye to protect themselves. 

In an academic article titled, "A Hostile Environment for Student Defendants: Title IX and Sexual Assault on College Campuses" written by Stephen Henrick; he focuses on how schools are supposed to handle sexual assault cases. His point of view combats by arguments which is eye-opening because I didn't know much about the other perspectives on sexual assault crimes and how universities should handle it. Hendrick believes that the enforcement of Title IX cannot come at the expense of the civil rights of innocent people(the accused). He writes, "the law must recognize that a university has limits. Society must assign the adjudication of sexual assault to civil and criminal court system to ensure justice is concerned" (Henrick 92). I understand Henrick's side of his argument which is, the accused sometimes are wrongly convicted or the legal processes may damage the accused's academic career. Personally, I feel that his argument is insensitive to the victims. Although there may be some cases where perpetrators are wrongly accused, there are typically rape kits, bruises, and other physical evidence to prove the accusations. Not only that, victims are usually mentally and emotionally damaged after the crime. I do not believe the school should have sympathy for the perpetrators because they are putting another student life and academic career in danger. The university should feel responsible to prosecute those persons who endanger or hinder the well-being of other students. 

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