The past year has been a blur of #MeToo stories and reckonings with entertainment and media power machines that have abused and then silenced countless women (though not only women, of course). While these stories continue to find the light, however, it’s critical that journalists not overlook another realm where women are regularly failed by powerful institutional silence: Colleges and universities. Statistics from the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) show that 23.1 percent of female undergraduates and 5.4 percent of male undergraduates experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
The topic of campus sexual assault has been in and out of the headlines for decades, but in a time when news never stops breaking, it’s crucial that media outlets remember that campus sexual assault matters more than ever. The #DishonorRoll is our effort to make sure that happens. Made possible by a grant from The Media Consortium, #DishonorRoll is a partnership that highlights stories that often fly under the radar of mainstream news. Twice a month, a broad consortium of outlets working with project editors at Bitch Media publish stories covering different aspects of campus sexual assault, from Title IX noncompliance at Catholic colleges to the impact of campus sexual assault on Muslim students.
Our hope for this project is to highlight the students, activists, and advocates whose daily lives on campus involve making campuses safer for students and ensuring justice for survivors. Campus sexual assault has always been a divisive issue, and #DishonorRoll is our effort to resist a simplistic narrative.