We at the Collegian do not find it at all surprising that Fort Collins is leading Colorado, along with most of the nation, with its sexual-assault rate.
Our city, after all, is a proud drinking town with a disproportionate number of college-aged residents. Though disappointing, the high statistics are also encouraging: people are reporting the crime, exposing the problem so it can be dealt with, instead of hiding it and allowing it to fester.
It is possible, even likely, that actual rapes in other cities or on other campuses are much higher but reported far less frequently because of ignorance, shame or fear. Fort Collins has evidently fostered an atmosphere that encourages victims to come forward, and that is the best it could do in this situation.
Fort Collins Police Services attributes the high reportage to a vigorous campaign aimed to educate the public following the emergence of a serial rapist.
We do not ask authorities and city officials to merely continue their proactive campaign. We encourage them to step it up.
As with murder, most rape victims know their attackers. Partygoers should do their best to keep from becoming drunk and vulnerable.
Should one become the victim of this terrible crime, he or she should not think twice about reporting sexual assaults – failing to do so leaves criminals free to victimize others.
It isn't just the victims' problem; it's all of ours.