From left, Kate Lawler, Margaret Polakow, Shira Blanton and Kimberly Leslie meet about Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training. The meeting occurred in a patient room that Swedish Covenant Hospital has created in its ER specifically for sexual assault survivors. (Kristan Lieb/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Guest Opinion: Addressing myths on sexual assault


In light of the UISG presidential debate, activists from the Women’s Resource & Action Center point out that most sexual assaults are perpetrated by an acquaintance.

We, the WRACtivists, are concerned with comments that surfaced at a recent University of Iowa Student Government presidential debate surrounding myths about sexual assault. The comment suggested increasing the prevalence of the Code Blue emergency phones on campus would decrease the prevalence of sexual assault, because of the common stereotype that most perpetrators are strangers who attack from bushes or places such as dark alleys. The comment perpetuated the myth that most incidents of sexual assault occur between strangers.

RELATED: UISG presidential candidates debate university issues

However, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, statistically, 70 percent of incidents take place between people who are at least acquaintances. Given the statistic above, this idea is unrealistic, because this type of effort would improperly allocate resources, and inefficient for eliminating sexual assault on campus. It is crucial that our representatives and student body strategize and make decisions based on the reality of these issues on campus in order to combat them effectively.

RELATED: UI student suspected of sexual assault at Burge

If you would like more information about this, please contact the Violence Prevention Team at the Women’s Resource and Action Center.

230 N. Clinton St. 712-441-5190.



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