The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Solidarity with survivors

Addressing gender-based violence on college campuses

Brandon Freyre, a sophomore at the University of Delaware and a member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, was charged on Oct. 11 with kidnapping, assault and strangulation of a woman student. 

Following the charges, students at the University of Delaware rallied in support of the woman survivor. They protested both the campus and Greek life culture that allows for violence against women to occur. Community members also expressed their discontent with the university’s response to the act of violence, as it took the university almost four days to publicly release a statement after the initial attack. 

As students at an institution of higher education, our St. Joe’s community is certainly not exempt from these realities of violence. The Hawk stands with the coumminity at the University of Delaware and will continue to support survivors of gender-based violence or sexual violence and harassment of any kind.

On Sept. 30, Arthur Grover, director of the Office of Public Safety and Security, sent a university announcement containing the 2021 Annual Security Report. The security report discloses statistics on incidents like reported sexual assaults, drug and alcohol violations and other instances of crime on and around campus in accordance with The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. 

This year, the number of reported cases of dating violence remained at three compared to 2019 data and the number of reported stalking cases increased from zero to one. The number of reported cases of domestic violence, stalking, rape and statutory rape either remained at zero or decreased compared to 2019 data.

While these numbers seem low, these are merely the reported cases. This does not mean instances of violence and harassment on the basis of gender do not occur on campus. 

According to the 2018 Campus Climate Study, 12% of respondents indicated they experienced unwanted sexual contact or conduct during their time at St. Joe’s. There are also many survivors of these acts of violence who still choose not to formally report their experiences to anyone for a multitude of reasons: they believe it’s a personal matter, law enforcement could not do anything to help, for fear of reprisal, and other reasons tied to the stigma against women survivors. 

As a community, our goal should be to create an environment in which those who perpetrate these acts of harassment, assault and violence are not welcome. No student, faculty or staff member should ever have to fear sexual assault, harassment or violence at St. Joe’s, or any college for that matter.

For those who are survivors of these atrocities and for those who may find themselves in an unsafe situation in the future, we must work to make this a safe space where we believe and support survivors. 

Especially in light of the recent events at the University of Delaware, we cannot and will not tolerate this behavior. As individuals in our own lives and an institution of higher education, we must hold those who create an environment of violence accountable. 

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