F or the past decade, I have lent my voice to issues concerning sexual violence. Between the ages of nine and 18, I was assaulted by three different men, with the first assault resulting in a conviction after I told my parents.
I chose not to report the later rapes, which occurred in my teens, to the police: During my advocacy work, I always look for glimmers of hope that institutions are taking sexual violence more seriously, through policies that protect victims and punish the perpetrators. I tell myself that any change is a step in the right direction, no matter how small. So when I saw that Indiana University has enacted a policy that would ban any student-athlete with a "Sexual harassment in college sports" of sexual or domestic violenceI was encouraged by the bold stance.
The ban also reveals, on a broader level, just how out of touch schools and the NCAA are with violence in general.
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For example, most people immediately think of women as the sole victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. And while the statistics show it is overwhelmingly women who are targets, there is also a distressing history of men assaulting each other in high school and college sports.
Partying or spectator aggression?
Inthe SEC implemented a similar policy as Indiana when they banned transfer-athletes with histories of domestic and sexual violence. The policy was enacted after defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor was kicked out of
Sexual harassment in college sports University of Georgia after a domestic violence arrest — he quickly transferred to the University of Alabama.
So the chances of many recruits or transfers who have been violent toward women actually meeting this standard is, in the most polite and generous reading, exceedingly small. Moskovitz goes on to describe the policy as a mere background check. Which is a fair assessment, considering that violence comes in many forms.
The focus on violence against women does not go far enough. There are several cases where male student-athletes have been accused of sodomizing team-mates with inanimate objects. Most recently, high school football players in the tiny town of La Vernia, Texas were arrested when more than 10 young men came forward with sexual-assault allegations. The young men claim they were sodomized with Coke bottles, baseball bats and pipes.
As one mother told a news outlet: They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum … including Coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats, and broomsticks. Of the nine football players arrested, seven are juveniles and still students at La Vernia high school.
While they await trial, they could prospectively still attend a school like Indiana University. However, charges such as these should be taken into full consideration when possibly bringing in this person onto any team.
Then there was the horrific case that took place in Idaho, where a white high-school football player was not given any jail time for assaulting his developmentally disabled African American team-mate with a coat hanger. But, despite Howard assaulting a team-mate, District Judge Randy Stoker played down any sexual aspect. This started out as penetration with a foreign object.
Whatever happened in that locker room was not sexual. This means Howard could potentially walk on to the Indiana team, since his history would be expunged as his violent past would not qualify as sexual
Sexual harassment in college sports. Last yearin Mississippi, an
Sexual harassment in college sports American football player allegedly had a noose placed around his neck by a white team-mate. Although the coach at the high school released the white player from his team, the player could still transfer to another high school, and therefore still have the opportunity to play college football.
The focus on sexual and domestic violence actually does very little to protect women at universities. When one looks closely at the case of Joe Mixon at the University of Oklahoma, he was not charged with domestic violence when he punched a woman in a restaurant, shattering her jaw.
Mixon later settled a civil case with the womanmeaning — had he wanted to — he could have transferred to another school. And what about cases where a student-athlete harasses trans people?
Under these provisions by the SEC and Indiana, the LGBTQ community is not protected from potential cases that could result in violence due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
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So when we think of violence only affecting cis women, it creates too narrow a focus. If schools really want to make a statement against violence, they need to be willing to take a stance against all forms, which in
Sexual harassment in college sports will truly create a safer environment for the entire student body. —Dr. Claire Walsh, former director of the sexual assault recovery program at the University of Florida.
“ young men in the school-based athletic subculture. Sexual assault and rape by college athletes have come under history of men assaulting each other in high school and college sports.
In October ofnot long after a sexual assault scandal at Baylor swept out the football coach, athletic director and president of the university.
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