If you’re looking for a trigger warning. This is it.
Let’s all take a break from my yip-yapping for today and do some math <3.
I personally know three rapists – one of them being my own – and all graduates of the University of Michigan.
I personally know a dozen survivors, and this is just a matter of people who have chosen to confide in me.
These are personal statistics. These are the University of Michigan’s. In June 2015 it was estimated that “more than 20 percent of University of Michigan female students have been sexually assaulted on campus.”
Ready for that math?
43,625 students attend the University of Michigan
49.1% of U of M students are women
21,420 students at U of M are women
20% of those women have been assaulted
That’s 4,284 assaulted women in one year at U of M alone.
I bet you can’t even name 4,284 people. I bet you don’t even know that many.
Could you imagine if 4,284 women were murdered at U of M each year? It’d probably decrease the assault stats cause there would be less women around cause, you know, they’d be murdered.
This past year U of M’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) released 97 balloons, each representing 50 survivors assaulted at U of M this year. (Oh, and here’s the math on SAPAC’s site of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence report for 2007).
Ah, their estimate was closer to 4,850 women, so just slap an extra 500+ assaulted women on my math for 2016.
You know what. I’m terrible at math. I’m not even 100% sure if I did that math correctly. I probably didn’t. Let’s say I screwed it up. Let’s say I’m off by a hundred – hell, let’s say I’m off by a thousand. Let’s just go easy and say at least 3,000 women are assaulted every year at the University of Michigan.
Oh thank God, just 3,000. The relief I feel… there’s just so much of it.
By now we’ve all seen this, this, and this article about one of the rapists at Stanford (I promise you there are more), and this well-earned, powerful letter from the survivor. Everyone has been appropriately freaking out because of his slap-on-the-wrist sentence and the way he’s been treated in headlines. I’m not going to sit here and recap them all, you can read them for yourself.
In her letter she states, “I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt.” Irreversible means there’s no going back. This is not something that happened. Rape is something that is happening. That’s present progressive tense people. Rape lives on through PTSD. It does not leave you. It’s irreversibility is what makes it truly horrifying. Being raped is contracting a sexually transmitted mental disease.
Enough chatting. Let’s do some more math, yeah? Let’s do some Stanford math.
Stanford’s math is a little trickier. They released this delightfully descriptive campus climate survey in Oct. 2015 (the same time U of M’s). They filled their results with fancy, narrow definitions. Silly Stanford, not only can I do math, I can do words too!
According to Stanford:
Sexual assault “[includes] a nonconsensual sexual act – involving intercourse, digital penetration, oral sex or penetration with a foreign object – accomplished by use of force, violence, duress, menace, inducement of incapacitation or knowingly taking advantage of an incapacitated person.”
Sexual misconduct “includes nonconsensual penetration or oral sex that occurs without the condition of force, violence, duress, menace or incapacitation that is involved in a sexual assault under state law and Stanford policy. Sexual misconduct also includes acts of sexual touching without consent and some acts of clothing removal without consent.”
I’m going to go ahead and say both of those definitions are describing sex crimes, even though Stanford ran around being like, “Yo guys, look at all the rapists we don’t have cause we chopped up the statistics, check it out!”
Here’s the breakdown:
16,136 students attend Stanford
1.9% of students (male & female) reported sexual assault
14.2% have additionally reported some other form of sexual misconduct.
That’s 1.9% sexual assault + 14.2% sexual misconduct = 16.1% of students have been assaulted (by my calculation after digging through their bullshit.)
That’s 2,598 sexually assaulted students in one year at Stanford.
That’s not even all the math that’s out there. This is just a math appetizer, a mathetizer per say.
This is math without the other math. The other math that includes every student – not just the ones who took the surveys – the math we’ll never get that includes all the survivors out there who will not speak up – especially on a school administered survey – and the math that doesn’t accurately include male survivors.
I wish if you were a criminal and committed sex crimes you’d immediately turn blue. I wish that survivors never had to tell their stories in the pursuit of justice and progress, so that we would never be humiliated and shamed. As a society we’d just have to say, “look that guy turned blue, get him boys!” and a couple of British cops from the 30s would pop out of nowhere singing a four-part harmony. Then, with wooden police batons, they’d bonk the blue people on the head and haul em’ off to prison forever and ever.
But rapists aren’t going to turn blue, and we’re going to have to keep speaking up.
I’m so tired. Actually, I’m exhausted. I don’t have an answer today. Today I just have math (math, and some terrific imagery of British cops).
If you’re looking for more information, please visit http://www.seeactstop.org/act/ or your school’s sexual assault prevention center.