Campus Rape Can Affect a Woman’s Career Before it Even Starts
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), 89% of campus rapes go unreported. Whether it is the victim or the University not reporting the incident, campus rape is an epidemic. Title IX legally holds any colleges and universities accountable to report these accidents, but the political leeway of funding federal loans, along with the wide range of labeling cases as “unreasonable,” fuels this unruly fire.
How can campus rape affect a woman’s college experience?
When women are victim to campus rape, their abuser takes away their college experience. Dealing with numerous emotions, along with internalizing the trauma, can lower their grades and affect their GPA, especially if victims are forcibly silenced from discussing what has happened to them. How can you focus on your studies when you are dealing with rape? It is not just about having a bad day. This is something that victims will have to deal with forever. The victims could still see their abuser on campus, causing them to feel trapped and helpless in a situation that is not their fault. People expect victims to just go on with their lives instead of implementing a plan to ensure their safety while accommodating their needs with both themselves and their academics. If a victim feels unsafe at a place that is already foreign to them, why go to class? Thus, it causes women to isolate themselves, furthering their internalization of hurt and guilt.
Because of this, victims face mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, self-harm, and even suicide. Mental health not only hinders the victims, but also their academic performance, which can cause grades to fall, or worse, drop out of college. Therefore, campus rapes affect women’s careers by disrupting their education. How can women focus on their career goals when haunted by their traumatic experiences in an institution that does not see rape as a severity, but rather as an inconvenience? Because of this, women are intimidated to share their story because of the institution and their peers.
The system needs to cater towards the victims rather than the abusers. Otherwise, victims will continue to be silent. Someone who is not a victim of campus rape will have a better chance at continuing their education and career than a victim who has personal and medical issues due to their traumatic experience. It is time to help victims open up by providing a safe place, along with using tools and resources to accommodate their educational needs.