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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Cost Of Sexual Assault At USC

The cost of sexual assault at USC is detailed in the second article of the "Price of Sex" series. The author says USC isn't doing enough to combat sexual assault on campus. 

“F**K who you must.” These are the words shouted at the beginning of a video documenting a USC fraternity party last year. 

They are also the first words in Neon Tommy’s new article, “The Cost of Sexual Assault at USC,” written by Nathaniel Haas. 

“It’s got to stop,” said Haas, commenting on the results of a recent USC Campus Climate survey. “We have to understand that these numbers are intolerable. They’re unacceptable.”

The statistics are staggering. 40% of USC students surveyed in a recent campus climate survey say they don’t think it’s likely campus officials would take a report of sexual assault seriously. The survey also reveals that 23% of USC female undergraduates who were surveyed say that they have experienced non-consensual touching and 14.5% say that they’ve experienced non-consensual penetration.

“The fact that still 40% of people don’t feel confident that they will be taken seriously if they make a report, that makes it very hard to not only feel good about where we’re at, but also where our solutions are at,” Haas said. 

In his article, Haas describes a series of improvements that USC could make to better the campus climate when dealing with sexual assault. 

“We have to ramp up punishments,” said Haas. “We have to make sure that people that are victims are not victimized by the same person, and that the same person doesn’t victimize more than one person.”

Kegan Allee, Interim Director and Title IX Coordinator, responded to Haas’s article. 

Allee states, “USC is working to reduce incidents of sexual misconduct and assault. We launched a required training for all incoming freshman and graduate students on sexual assault, expanded bystander education, and are working to double the size of the Center for Women and Men. We are continuing to work with various student organizations and departments to ensure that diverse student communities are aware of their rights and resources.  We are working with student leaders to update the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) website to make it more accessible for students.”

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