According to the California Penal Code, “Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator…” The federal definition, according to the FBI, reads “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Nowhere in either definition does it say that rape only occurs when the perpetrator has an orgasm. But that’s what campus cops at the University of Southern California allegedly told a student who had been raped by her ex-boyfriend. Other students have also come forward to tell their stories of how they were raped and campus police did nothing but protect the assailants.
As a result, the group of sexual assault victims have filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The Huffington Post reports that the complaint alleges that campus police ignored their duty to victims of crimes by telling them that they weren’t really raped or that they should have expected to be raped.
“One student involved in the USC complaint, who asked to remain anonymous, said a DPS detective told her the campus police determined that no rape occurred in her case because her alleged assailant did not orgasm, and that therefore they had decided not to refer the case to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Because he stopped, it was not rape,” she was told, according to the complaint. “Even though his penis penetrated your vagina, because he stopped, it was not a crime.”"
How in the world in this possible when California and federal laws define any kind of unwanted penetration as rape?
But there’s more.
Yet another anonymous student told the Huffington Post that “USC dismissed her claim that her ex-boyfriend had raped her, despite her providing audio recordings of him admitting to it.” So the victim has evidence and the school STILL dismissed her claim?! This is precisely the kind of rape culture that has been facilitated across the nation’s universities over many years and is now coming to the surface. Because schools want to protect their fraternities, jocks, and most importantly, their money all in the name of keeping their image, victims of sexual assault get shunted to the side while their perpetrators are allowed to roam free with little or no punishment. Victims are faced with having to be in proximity of their rapists. However, not only does campus police apparently have their own definition of rape, they also seem to believe that women are asking to be raped and should expect to be raped. Once again, Huff Post reports that,
When another student went to the DPS to report a sexual assault at a fraternity event, according to the complaint, an officer told her and a friend, also a sexual assault survivor who had accompanied her, that women should not “go out, get drunk and expect not to get raped.”
In other words, these cops are saying that women should expect to be raped by frat boys so if they don’t want to be raped, they shouldn’t go to events that take place at frat house events. So because a rape happened at a frat event, the rapist is automatically protected by the school and campus police? Again, the WTF factor just keeps getting more and more outrageous.
Rape culture at USC sparked outrage last year when an email sent by a frat boy was intercepted. That email called women “targets” and declared that giving them names “is pointless.” Just another example of how bad universities have failed to deal with the issue.
Similar complaints are being filed against other universities as well. For instance, one student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has filed a federal complaint because the university threatened to expel her for publicly coming forward as a rape victim.
The way many universities have been treating rape victims is criminal. Rape is a serious crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Protecting rapists only causes less victims to come forward and emboldens rapists to rape in the future because they believe they can continue to get away with the crime. Universities must be held accountable for not prosecuting crimes that occur on their campuses. This shouldn’t be about image or money. It should be about doing the right thing for women who come forward and punishing the rapists for their crimes. Justice must prevail or rape culture will continue to worsen.