Vanderbilt case brings solace to victims

The verdicts have finally arrived as former Vanderbilt football players have been found guilty of rape and aggravated sexual battery.  Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg have plead not guilty to raping a fellow student and are currently awaiting their sentencing in March. The jury has denied their poor excuse of being “too drunk” to recognize what they were doing.

Most rape victims on college campuses have avoided the process of reporting the crime to the police, but this Vanderbilt case gives them hope. Bureau of Justice statistics state that 80 percent of rape and sexual assault victimizations of students go unreported to the public. Women are petrified of not being heard and not receiving the justice they deserve.

Many students are, in fact, deterred from reporting their rape or assault to the authorities because they believe they will have to go through years of reliving their attack and will never receive justice. According to the Rape Crisis Center, sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes, averaging just 39 percent of rapes reported each year.

Our courts are the only way a student will receive a possible chance of justice, although that should not be the case. It is the college’s job to make sure that each student is safe and retribution will be certain if they are in any harm. Students claim that college campuses handle these situations poorly by not supplying a certain amount of evidence, being asked inappropriate questions and not being able to have a lawyer present.

Oswego State supplies the necessities for any victim who is ready to come forward. The campus provides a counseling service center where anyone can receive help, an R.A.D. system (Rape Aggression Defense), where one can learn how to defend oneself if needed, and a campus organization named Two and a Half, which is based on teaching the student population about violence against women. Student voices as a student body should be heard and the only way the schools will listen is if the student population keeps themselves aware.