The epidemic of sexual violence on America’s college campuses has garnered growing attention in recent years: President Obama has described the problem as “both deeply troubling and a call to action,” citing federal data that show roughly one in five women will experience sexual assault during their undergraduate years.
M. Gabriela Torres, associate professor of anthropology at Wheaton, said one reason sexual violence is such an important issue for colleges to address is because there is a high incidence of rape for women aged 18–24. “Women are particularly susceptible to being raped in this age group in the United States, regardless of whether they are enrolled in college. However, colleges, because they enroll women in this risk group, may be particularly effective in working to reduce the incidence of sexual assault.”
The Wheaton community’s strong commitment to address sexual assault and how the college deals with it has been ongoing for more than 30 years, including trainings for staff and resident advisors, continual review and updates of related policies, and the presentation of the biennial symposium on Violence Against Women that was begun in 1983. [Read more...]