Rape victims deserve discretion

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Sexual assualts are unfortunately an issue on university campuses across America. Because of the severity of the topic, different schools have various methods of and resources for dealing with this issue on a case-by-case basis.
The administration here at Chico State does an adequate job of providing resources to students who are assaulted. This semester, however, students have been turning to the Chico College Confessions Facebook page to tell other students about their experiences of being sexually assaulted.
It is important to remember that these kinds of social media pages are made with entertainment in mind and are not necessarily for a larger or more positive purpose. With that in mind, it is easy for students to be reminded that pages like Chico College Confessions exist for a quick laugh, sometimes at the expense of the person posting their personal story.
The user base is another thing to keep in mind —­­ those looking for a helpful and supportive peer group might not find it on these kinds of sites. At least one poster has deleted their story of being sexually assaulted after negative and accusatory comments were made by other users who frequent the page.

But what does this situation say about Chico State?
There appears to be a flaw in the standing system for reporting sexual assaults. These student survivors seem to be more inclined to disclose their story online rather than going to the authorities.
The anonymous nature of the confession page allows posters to retain their dignity and avoid the judgement of their peers.
Imagine if organizations like Safe Place had a similar forum that allowed individuals to report on their sexual assaults in an anonymous setting, where instead of sometimes cruel peers, trained professionals could offer support and counseling.
With a new generation of students who feel more comfortable posting personal information online, administrators could learn from social media sites.

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