So far this year, only two Anderson University students have filed reports of sexual violence or harassment, according to Title IX coordinator Dianne King.
This figure may seem encouraging, but King worries about it. Just because someone doesn’t report something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Anderson is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The school, like all colleges and universities that receive federal funding, is required to enforce Title IX, a federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on sex. This includes tracking sexual violence and trying to prevent it.
This is a challenge for every college and university. And some Christian schools may inadvertently discourage reporting, with policies that prohibit all alcohol, drug and sexual activity outside of marriage. That can leave coordinators like King questioning their own data.
“There are students who have sex. We know that, and there are those who misbehave in a sexual way, whether it’s sexual harassment, sexual assault, harassment, or interpersonal violence,” King told CT. “We have these things here.”
There is some evidence that sexual assault is slightly less likely in religious colleges, although numbers are hard to come by. Overall, more than 26% of female undergraduates are victims of rape or sexual assault, according to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). But the same data shows that only about 1 in 5 female students who are assaulted report it to authorities — and the percentage of reporting is even lower among the 7% of undergraduate students who are raped or assaulted. …
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