COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A master’s student who’s been examining the history of sexual assaults at Ohio State said the university has implemented safety measures but more education needs to be done.
In 2020, there were 134 rapes reported to either campus police or a Campus Security Authority (CSA), according to OSU’s federally required annual security report. In 2019, 118 people reported they had been raped, up from 93 in 2018. And in 2017 the number of people reporting rape was 72.
Mia Cariello is a first-year master’s program student with the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department. She said that in the 1970s, the university combatted rape by putting in better lighting and escorting female students around the campus.
But those kinds of security measures don’t address rapes happening in residence halls. In November, campus police logs show that at the Phi Delta Gamma Fraternity, a person reported two counts of rape. At Park-Stradley Hall, a person reported a rape through threat of force. The other locations given were Bowen House and Lincoln Tower. Two more people declined to give the name of the residence hall where the assault occurred.
Cariello said that rape is a crime of power. “I do want to emphasize that I think all sexual violence is a form of power control. Rape is not just for someone’s sexual pleasure. It is all about dominating and controlling.”
Students also come into OSU poorly educated on how to ask for consent and how to say “no.”
“I think the type of incidences in the dorms between students who are either acquaintances or know each other — those are instances where it can get difficult,” said Cariello. “Especially because a lot of people when they come into a university have not been necessarily been taught comprehensive sex ed.
“They don’t really know, they haven’t been taught to ask for consent in ways that are more nuanced.
“What does that mean for people who haven’t been empowered to say no? What if there’s peer pressure involved?”
Cariello said that education is key to preventing sexual violence.
“I think that OSU’s implementation of mandated training is a step in the right direction, but also…people can get around it as well by not paying attention.”
Rapes and Ohio State University
NBC4 ran a series of reports on rapes at Ohio State in November 2021: