Sexual battery has been a consistent issue on college campuses. Last year, the rape case between Florida State’s starting quarterback Jameis Winston and the unnamed sorority girl was highly publicized. The unnamed sorority girl, who eventually dropped out of FSU, claimed that Winston raped her at a party last year. At Eckerd, a sexual battery occurred in Beta complex. While this incident seems like an unusual one at a place like Eckerd, it may happen more often than most people realize.
According to a study done by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, statistics show that between 20 to 25 percent of college women and four percent of men report having been sexually assaulted in college. But fewer than five percent of these cases actually get reported.
Unfortunately, the lines between consent and force are often blurred since most of these cases involve acquaintances. Both men and women need to realize what consent means and when things start to get out of hand.
No means no, no matter what. The Eckerd College Handbook states that each individual involved in sexual activity must clearly and effectively consent to participation. Silence doesn’t mean consent, and someone who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol isn’t capable of giving consent. Also, freezing up or not participating during sex signals lack of consent.
It’s also important to not let drugs or alcohol get the best of you. Always watch who makes your drink, and don’t leave it unattended if you plan on finishing it.
However, if something does happen, you need to report it. There are many resources available for victims here at Eckerd. According to the Handbook, when a case of sexual misconduct is reported, the school will help the victim arrange a medical evaluation or treatment and encourage the victim to report the incident to the St. Petersburg Police Department since it is considered a felony under Florida law.
Eckerd also will offer the victim immediate and ongoing support, guidance and counseling. Students can receive guidance and counseling from a variety of on-campus sources such as Outreach Services in Brown Hall, Health Services and Campus Ministries.