Four CSUN Students Report Rapes In Less Than Two Months

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CSUN's student recreation center. (Photo by Michael Locke via the LAist Pool of Photos on Flickr)

Since late September, four women have reported that they were raped in the University Park Apartments at California State University Northridge. According to the L.A. Daily News, the most recent incident occurred at 1:30 a.m. on November 3. All of the rapes have apparently involved the victim knowing the suspect, in some way.

CSUN's Police Chief Anne Glavin said to the Daily News that the most recent victim does not wish to prosecute the crime's perpetrator. Glavin also said that there was alcohol consumed, though not by the woman who reported the rape. Including the three other rapes reported since late September, CSUN authorities say a total of nine rapes have been reported in 2016. Five were reported in 2015, two in 2014, and one in 2013.

Of course, it's critical to remember that rape is one of the most underreported crimes, especially in collegiate settings. As a whole, rape on and around college campuses is an issue that's finally percolating into the public eye after, essentially, being a silent issue for decades. Back in 1972, Congress passed the Title IX component of the U.S. Education Amendments Act. In short, Title IX mandates that any school receiving federal funding has to ensure that it provides an educational environment free from any sexual discrimination.

Among the provisions are a series of rules that require all schools to allow students who have been sexually assaulted to report their assault in a safe and respectful setting. It follows that a school would conduct a thorough investigation of the reported assault, and would appropriately discipline the perpetrator if its determined alleged act did occur.

The problem is that most schools are only just getting around to building this infrastructure now, more than 40 years after the Title IX amendment was first passed. You may remember how, in 2014, a federal investigation was launched against both USC and Occidental for failing to uphold the Title IX standards. In short, students accused both schools of under-reporting sexual assault statistics, while also failing to provide an workable setting for those students to report what had happened to them. Occidental was eventually cleared by federal investigators in 2016, though only after the school retooled its entire Title IX procedures.

With regards to CSUN, while it's impossible to know how many cases of rape and sexual assault have actually occurred at the Valley campus, the fact that there are more reported assaults indicates the school is at least making an effort to allow students to report, and isn't brushing them under the rug.