University of Southern California is mislabeling rape and sexual assault complaints as injuries, domestic disputes and other lesser crimes to keep crime numbers low. A student, Ariella Mostov, has filed a formal complaint against the university after she was told her sexual assault was not rape because the perpetrator did not orgasm. Excuse me while I stab my eyes with ice picks because reading, then writing, that sentence is just depressing.
The Huffington Post reports, “Mostov said she visited the campus Department of Public Safety to follow up, but the records manager couldn’t find the crime report she had filed March 27. When the report was located later, it listed the crime as ‘injury response,’ rather than rape.”
Mostov, along with several other students, have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education claiming USC violated the Clery Act. The Clery Act is a federal law mandating “accurate and timely reporting of crimes on campus.”
Mostov also complained that her police report was highly inaccurate. “She said she told an officer she had asked the assailant several times during the attack to stop. The police report said Mostov told the suspect once to stop and he did. Mostov said campus detectives discouraged her from reporting the crime to Los Angeles police on her own, saying the district attorney would never take the case.”
Could you imagine trying to take this case to court and having your police report be so grossly inaccurate that reality isn’t even on your side? Nightmare.
USC senior Tucker Reed, who organized the Clery complaint, found that many of her peers were dealing with the same issue: that their sexual assaults were categorized as far lesser crimes. Reed said, “Victims are told by campus security that turning in their assailant can ruin the perpetrator’s life and that the investigation will be rough on them and traumatizing. They want to make it seem less bad than it is, because they have to report them, Clery-wise, and it’s just sick.”
It is sick, it’s so sick that an entire university has this issue of rape-denial. It seems USC is content with empathizing with rapists because it’s too much hassle to deal with rape survivors. Instead of dealing with on campus rape culture they’re sweeping the experiences and abuses of students under the rug. I applaud these women for stepping forward and exposing themselves, their experiences and struggles in an effort to seek justice where it seemed to be routinely denied from them.
[Image Via. Shutter Stock / cloki]