By: Ashley McDonough
‘Tis the season of homecoming. The highly anticipated “CROWN” is in preparation to maintain the 90-year tradition. However, in the midst of the fun, universities within the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area are under investigation for the rise of sexual assaults on various college campuses.
Homecoming is a series of events catered to the return of alumni. Now celebrated with loud music and massive amounts of abusive substances, safety has become a very important issue, especially with women and rape. According to statistics.com, one in four college women report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point throughout their college career.
Mainly targeting women, although some men have fallen victim to this as well, perpetrators are entrapping women with date rape drugs. In events like Homecoming, with large crowds and carelessness, these acts occur frequently and often go unrecognized.
“The entire date rape drug thing is sickening. In college, you’re just focused on living and having a good time, people always find a way to ruin it,” said Ronald Douglas, a Howard University alumnus.
Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GBH) and Ketamine are the most common date rape drugs used throughout college campuses. The scariest part about these drugs is majority of the time the victim is completely unaware of the drug at all. These drugs dissolve in water and rarely show discoloration nor produce a peculiar taste.
The increase of college sexual assaults throughout the nation has even brought awareness all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. President Barack Obama recently made a statement in mid-September, where he focused ways to prevent sexual assaults from transpiring.
“This is on all of us, every one of us, to fight campus sexual assault,” President Obama said. “We are going to organize campus by campus, city by city, state by state; this entire country is going to make sure that we understand what this is about and that we’re going to put a stop to it.”
The Obama administration recently created the “It’s on Us” campaign – the next step in making a change for the better with sexual assaults at college campuses. With this campaign, President Obama plans to identify the problem, engage in prevention measures, effectively respond to reported incidents as well as enforce laws that punish perpetrators.
During homecoming events, students are reminded to stay alert around the Washington, D.C. area. Follow safety percussions and always inform others of your whereabouts. This will allow students to have a safe and enjoyable homecoming.