ESPN’s Outside the Lines recently performed an investigation on the sexual assault case involving a former swimmer and football players at the University of Missouri. In 2010, Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey believed she had been raped by a football player after having consensual sex with a male friend.
Courey described the incident to a rape crisis counselor online, which was revealed in a records request in late 2012:
“[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldn’t really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time…. but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in. & i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the informaton i would have it later… the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed. I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left.”
Specific details from Courey’s account were supported and verified by a friend and former Missouri football receiver, Rolandis Woodland. Woodland stated that after Courey died, he saw a videotape of three players in a dark room assaulting her while she was in a drunken state.
“You could see her saying ‘No, no,’ hysterically crying,” Woodland said, “She uses the name of [redacted player] when she tells him to get off of her, and he says, ‘It’s only me.'”
Courey emailed the video to Woodland just before she committed suicide in June 2011.
This investigation comes right at the forefront of Obama’s weekly address, which revealed details of the White House’s initiative towards protecting college women and curbing sexual assault nationwide.
“Sexual assault is an affront to our basic decency and humanity. And it’s about all of us – the safety of those we love most: our moms, our wives, our daughters and our sons,” Obama said.”(It) is a priority for me, not only as President and Commander-in-Chief, but as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls, Obama said.”
Sexual assault is still an issue within college settings. Here are some statistics:
- Data from 6,800 undergraduate students (5,466 women and 1,375 men) indicate that 13.7% of undergraduate women had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault since entering college: 4.7% were victims of physically forced sexual assault; 7.8% of women were sexually assaulted when they were incapacitated after voluntarily consuming drugs and/or alcohol (i.e., they were victims of alcohol and/or other drug- [AOD] enabled sexual assault); 0.6% were sexually assaulted when they were incapacitated after having been given a drug without their knowledge (i.e., they were certain they had been victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault [DFSA].
In 2005-10, most rape or sexual assault victims (78%) knew the offender, according to the the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
In 1995, 29% of rape or sexual assault victimizations against females were reported to police. This percentage increased to 56% in 2003 before declining to 35% in 2010. Of the 36% of rape or sexual assault victimizations reported to police in 2005-10, about 64% were reported directly by the victims, an increase from 50% in 1994-98. Among rape or sexual assault victimizations that went unreported, the most common reason victims gave for not reporting the crime during 2005-10 was fear of reprisal (20%) (BJS:NCVS).
- It’s estimated that between one-quarter and one-fifth of college women experience sexual assault, but fewer than half of victims ever report it to authorities, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Hopefully, as a nation, we can continue to help those in need and aim to prevent sexual assault as a whole.
If you are seeking help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for free, confidential help, 24 hours a day: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673). If you are in immediate danger call 911. For more information please visit the National Sexual Assault Website.