At least 20% of women on college campuses, (along with people of all genders), have been the victims of sexual assaults since starting college. Given that nearly half of attacks go unreported, the number is likely much higher, and Columbia is no exception. This year, students have been actively challenging the Columbia administration on their poor record of addressing sexual violence on campus. Without basic services for sexual violence victims, we can hardly begin to deal with the epidemic of sexual violence on our campus. The Columbia administration has long been resistant to recognizing this epidemic and supporting victims.
We also know that formal policies and practices are only a small part of the challenge to ending sexual violence. We also need to figure out how to confront rape culture and the sexism that underlies it – along with racism, transphobia, and other forms of oppression that play a major role in perpetuating sexual violence.
Come hear activist and writer Jen Roesch, who was part of a struggle to defend the rape crisis center when she was a student at Columbia, speak on rape culture: what it is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it at Columbia.