Sexual assault is being discussed widely across campuses around the world, and with good reason. It happens on every single college campus and not much has been done about it in the past.

An example is the case where a Columbia student was raped by another student. She claimed the student had raped her Sophomore year, but the university investigated it and cleared the case. She then hauled a mattress around as a statement about the weight that the assault had on her. The male even tried to press charges against Columbia for gender discrimination. This shows the climate that surrounds sexual assault cases on college campuses. Often, these cases are brushed off because there is so much “he said she said” surrounding them.

Campuses around the United States need to figure out a way to handle these cases that is fair for those involved. Sexual assault is traumatic enough as it is. Having to deal with the aftermath shouldn’t be nearly as difficult. Here are some of the harsh realities surrounding sexual assault on campuses.

Many Cases are Never Even Discussed by the Victim

Often, victims of assault feel shame after they are assaulted. They may also think they won’t be taken seriously or will be judged. This keeps many from going to the hospital or telling their family and friends post-assault. This stigma that surrounds sexual assault makes victims feel embarrassed and like it is their fault.

Also, victims are scared that bringing this up will cause their parents or loved ones to force them to take legal action when they might just want to forget it all, which will always be a difficult part of assault cases. The last thing a victim wants to do is to relive the assault over and over in court and in front of people.

Sexual Assault Has Nothing to Do With What People are Wearing

Sexual assault isn’t about what victims are wearing. This is another reason victims are scared to come forward with assault cases. They are afraid that someone is going to ask what they were wearing when the assault occurred. This totally dismisses the pain the victim is going through and ignores the fact that someone still decided they could assault someone.

Sexual assault shouldn’t be discussed around what the victim was wearing when it happened. This is something that campuses need to change the narrative of moving forward. If a woman wants to wear a long white dress, a t-shirt and sweatpants, or her favorite pair of shorts, she shouldn’t have to think about the possibility of being attacked when getting dressed.

Legal Action May be Necessary

As previously mentioned, many victims don’t want to take legal action because they don’t want to relive a scarring moment. It is important for college campuses to empower students to take action when they are victims of assault. Campuses should hold students accountable and expel students who are rightly accused of assault.

If you or someone you know is assaulted, contact a firm like Preszler Law or another successful firm in your area. Lawyers will often help you understand the process and realize what your rights are. Sometimes they can make sense of why taking legal action is important. There needs to be more accountability in sexual assault cases on campuses and lawyers would be happy to represent victims of these atrocities.

College campuses ultimately want to see less sexual assault cases, but they need to encourage victims to come forward and take action when someone is charged with sexual assault. This problem is widespread and has no perfect answer, but collectively campuses want less people to suffer in silence.