An urgent request to cover rape awareness NOW
“College students are the most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman and sophomore years.”
Even though that quote comes from a 2003 Department of Justice report, it gave me a jolt when I was pointed to it today by a Youthradio.org piece reprinted at Huff Post College. I hope it jolts you if you’re a college media leader. Some of you are more than a “few weeks” into the school year, but you still would do an important service for your audience by providing whatever coverage you can of rape awareness — quickly.
It doesn’t matter if “we did it last semester.” Were this year’s freshmen — the most vulnerable population — reading you then? Is this topic not important enough to merit regular coverage anyway?
It doesn’t matter if you can’t spend 100 hours researching the best piece ever. As journalists have said for eons: “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Anything you do to raise awareness of this topic is good. Publish basic tips from your on-campus rape prevention resources. Talk to a counselor about why new students are more at risk. (Who knows, the counselor may think the local situation is different.) Invite discussion on social media.
Got time for an extra call? Round up the sexual assault stats from your police department.
I thought about poring through that 2003 report to pull out the best quotes. But time matters. Many of you are wrapping up today’s work and thinking about tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if I write “the best blog post ever about rape awareness.” Right now, it matters most that I share the quote above and a call to action:
Some of your peers are at risk. Act accordingly.