Dr. Tony Lake
Law Students for Reproductive Justice and Miami Law Women recently sponsored a discussion titled “It’s On Us –Survey Results and Debrief.” The purpose of the event was to discuss the results of The President’s Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education’s survey of campus students.
The survey detailed attitudes on the University of Miami campus toward unwanted sexual behavior, as well as bystander intervention, resources available on campus, and the comfort level of victims with regard to utilizing campus resources. As an introduction to this survey discussion, the Law Students for Reproductive Justice held a film screening of “The Hunting Ground” this past fall, which documented many cases of sexual assault across a wide variety of United States college campuses.
Dr. Tony Lake, Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Judicial Affairs at UM, shared a power point presentation which highlighted the results of the survey. While only 1,036 (6.2%) of the students completed the survey, the results were particularly alarming. 11.6% of respondents agreed that a drunk person who is assaulted or raped is, at least somewhat, responsible for putting him or herself in that situation. Additionally, 66.9% of respondents believed that taking action to prevent sexual assault could lead to getting physically hurt. Moreover, only 17.9% were even aware of the existence of a Title IX coordinator at the University.
Dr. Lake told the audience that he and the other creators of the survey have been working to improve the questions and content with the hope that this year’s survey will attract more participation. Members of the audience brought up various issues, including the problem of not knowing what to do if a friend has been assaulted but is afraid to go to authorities, as well as the issue of who is best equipped to handle sexual assault investigations and adjudications.
“With over 100 colleges being under investigation for the mishandling of sexual assault cases, it is clear that conversations must continue at the University of Miami and elsewhere on how to ensure institutions of higher education can be truly safe and fair places for all,” said Stephanie Rosendorf, President of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
“To that end, we plan on hosting an additional forum to discuss 2016’s survey.”