Friday, October 12, 2018

A very interesting report

John Manly, attorney for many of Larry Nassar's victims, linked this report from USC on his Twitter feed.  It is a bit lengthy, and there are a few places where I am having a little bit of trouble reconciling the numbers, but I'm attributing that to the simple fact that statistics on sexual assault are messy.

Two things that strike me in particular is that in about 2/3 of cases, alcohol or drugs were involved, and in about half of cases, there was physical injury to the victim.  I would infer here first that if we can persuade people either to not get drunk in the first place, or to know that sex with a drunk person is indeed rape, we could cause the overall rate of reported sexual assaults to plunge.

Second, the high rate of physical injuries noted suggests that if we can only persuade victims to report promptly, we might be able to move a lot of cases much closer to the point of "able to prosecute." 

One final thing that I noted is that USC has about ten different groups involved in the reporting of sexual assault, and students were asked if they knew about all of them.  That's too complex to make reporting simple; instead, I'd recommend a simple symbol on their doors and websites to indicate they are trained to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault.

Finally, this tweet by Manly shows a huge problem of child sexual abuse.  He's not just a lawyer, he's a victim grown up, and who has apparently lost faith as a result of his abuse.

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