Registering an opinion on the topic of rape seems to be an invitation for a guy to get himself fired.
However. This is my personal blog, so the odds of me firing myself are slim.
That said, the New York Times ran a long, front page piece Sunday about an 18-year-old freshman who was raped at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The article is on how the college, a school I had never heard of before, located west of Syracuse in New York's Finger Lakes region, had mishandled its inquiry into the case, which involved football players, allegedly.
Now I am not an expert in these matters, and I am a man. However: rape is a serious crime and serious crime should be reported to the police. Is that not so? The story never addresses why she didn't. Now I'm not saying there aren't reasons people don't report rapes to the police, embarrassment, lack of trust, and such. The notion might be that a college investigation would be less traumatic, for the victim, than a police investigation, but that doesn't seem borne out in reality. And I am not saying that, if you don't report a rape to the police, you should take what you get. But colleges have a hard enough time fielding competent professors. They are not in the crime-detection business, and while their bobbling such an investigation is not acceptable, it's not surprising either. A recent study showed that 40 percent of colleges haven't investigated any rapes over the past five years. The message from this story, a message that I believe is not driven home enough, and should be, is that if someone rapes you— a football player, a priest, a friend, anybody — you should always call the cops. Immediately. The cops might mishandle it, God knows they do that. But they're the ones with experience in investigating crime, the ones in the best position to have a chance to get it right. Calling the police, I believe, is an important step in a crime being taken seriously. If a crime is committed against you, and you don't call the police, the obvious question is "why?" and there is an implication that you yourself have your doubts as to whether you are actually a victim or not, since these situations can be murky.
Or am I reading this wrong? I'm not the Jedi Council. But having read the New York Times piece, that's my feeling. If you're raped, call the cops.