Last week I was walking out of the Rec Center and I noticed a poster right next to the door. It read, "74 percent of college men would intervene to prevent a sexual assault." I stared at the poster for a moment just to make sure that I was seeing this correctly. 74 percent. This has to be wrong, I thought to myself, there's no way that 26 percent of college men would stand by while a sexual assault took place. Then it hit me; this poster is way off base. It made sense to me that 100 percent of college men would intervene to prevent a sexual assault. That's the truth; don't listen to any poster. Quite simply, anyone that wouldn't step in to prevent a sexual assault is not a man.
Disturbed by the fact that 26 percent of the males that the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) polled said they would not prevent a sexual assault, I proceeded to look up a few facts on their Web site. According to various sources on RAINN.org, only 39 percent of all rapes are actually reported. Half of all rapes reported are actually followed by an arrest. Of those arrested, there is an 80 percent chance of prosecution. Even if there is a prosecution, only 58 percent of those get a felony. If they are indeed convicted of the felony, only 69 percent of those spend even one day in jail. Now that you're all scratching your heads, that means that only one in 16 rapists – six percent – spend any time in jail.
I'm not sure, but I think that more people who get busted on possession charges for marijuana spend time in jail. This society is really backward if you ask me. Looking at the facts, if you only stand a 6 percent chance of getting any jail time then there's no real deterrent for going out and becoming a rapist. I think that rapists are sick people who have been stripped of any shred of humanity that they might have once had, much like murderers. The difference there is that with rape, there's a much better chance at getting away with it than there is with murder. These people need to have a much more dire consequence in front of them if we expect to see this problem disappear.
The problem with rape is that in our litigation-happy society where people are willing to shell out big money to lawyers to sue you for anything, rape charges are often brought against people undeservingly. In last week's Sports Illustrated on Campus, there was an article about a standout 18-year-old athlete who had relations with an underage girl thinking that it was consensual only to have charges of rape brought against him. There was a lot more to the story than just this, but the fact remains that all the charges except statutory rape and a child molestation charge were dropped against him. Thus, it was an example of his word versus hers. These cases get dealt with accordingly, but the ones I'm interested in are the cut and dry rape cases where someone was physically coerced into sex against their own will.
I'm not interested in a capital punishment debate here, but I believe that if convicted of such a charge, one should be sentenced to some sort of castration or any other medical procedure whereby the assailant, male or female, is no longer capable of reproduction. The very word castration sends chills through every guy reading this article. The thought of losing one's gonads isn't all that enticing, is it? That's just the point, because neither is a life sentence in jail or an electric chair. They serve as deterrents more than anything, and I believe that some sort of severe punishment for what I see as a severe crime is perfectly in order. That way, these chimos (slang for child-molester, kind of like 'SoCal,' but not as stupid) and rapists will think twice before sexually assaulting someone.
Tyler Wittman is a senior speech communication major. His column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.