It could happen to any of us – at a bar, club, apartment – or maybe even on campus.
According to the public crime logs for Florida A&M’s department of public safety, a rape by force occurred the night of Sept. 21 near Lee Hall.
When I heard the news, it sent chills up my spine. I know crime will occur, but cannot imagine such a heinous crime taking place at our beloved institution. Rape is never okay, under any circumstance, but it and date rape among friends is becoming all too common. The news shocked me to the core. As an avid walker, I’m afraid to go places on foot. I’ve stopped letting others know where I live and even going out on dates. This is a serious issue. What is just as frightening is the fact that the crime was not made public by FAMU’s Police Department.
I am willing to bet that the number of campus sexual assaults is much higher, and no one else has come forward to tell their story. No correspondence was sent out. No emergency texts were sent from FAMU PD, who frequently sends out alert messages to subscribed students if there is a danger on campus.
This is a travesty.
It is as important for me to receive notification that someone is trespassing on campus as it is that someone has violated a fellow Rattler near a place I walk past everyday.
To look at why the situation wasn’t publicized, maybe we should take a look at attitudes toward sexual violence. Why is sexual assault such a taboo topic? Why is it not reported more often? Why do university officials feel that it is not important enough for an all-call?
“I think more sexual assaults are not reported because people may not know what exactly falls in this category,” Dalin Howze, a third-year pre-pharmacy student from Atlanta, Ga. said.
I feel as if most assaults are not reported because victims feel like they led the perpetrator to believe the act was okay. I hope that more brave men and women come forward to give those who are too afraid a voice. Also, in the future I hope FAMU PD deems it necessary to keep students abreast on ALL crimes that occur at FAMU.