Kent Statement on Recent Incidents at University-Affiliated Housing

Last week we learned about a second sexual assault that occurred in university-affiliated housing. President Bendapudi also has provided an update on steps the university is taking to increase security and safety for students.

These outrageous and harrowing incidents are part of an epidemic of sexual assaults affecting college-aged people across the U.S.  Recent estimates suggest 20%- 26% of cisgender women, 20%-23% of transgender and non-binary/genderqueer individuals, and 5%-7% of cisgender men on college campuses are sexually assaulted nationally each year (Cantor et al. al, 2020; DOJ, 2014).  Moreover, sexual assault is grossly under-reported with only 10%-30% of assaults being reported to campus officials and law enforcement (Cantor et al., 2020, link to report).  Sexual violence is facilitated, in part, by cultural and societal messages that blame survivors for not preventing the assault, question survivors' credibility, fail to hold assailants completely responsible, and normalize male sexual aggression (Baum, Cohen, & Zhukov, 2018 https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/38435482)

We stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault, in the Kent School, the university, our community, and around the world.  We are committed to supporting the university in examining increased primary prevention efforts, including structural and systemic changes, to reduce sexual assaults on and around campus.  

This also is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time we honor and celebrate survivors and those who have died from intimate partner violence.  More information can be found here:  https://www.dvawareness.org/  

In the coming weeks, we will be sending out correspondence on ways students, staff, and faculty can join and/or continue to support efforts to address sexual and gender-based violence.  Below are additional resources:

 

Emma M. Sterrett-Hong, Ph.D., LMFT
Licensed Psychologist
Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion