Rising Number Of Rapes On Football Game Days

College rape

A woman is the most exquisite creature in the world. It is said the beauty of the entire world is nothing compared to the beauty and innocence of a woman.  But this same woman, the most exquisite creature in the world has so much to fear that at times it feels like she shouldn’t even exist in such a cruel world; the world of men.

When you’re talking about America and the status of women here, there are quite a lot of things that pop up in your head, for example, hate crimes, domestic violence, and harassment and of course rape. Yes, even though the law may try to provide protection to women, it still fails most of the time.

The US Justice Department states that every two minutes, a woman is raped somewhere in America. The most shocking part is that most of these rapes are taking place in educational institutions, particularly the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools. In fact, the rate of rape attempts increases to a considerable extent on Football game days especially when the school is hosting the event.

Let’s just not get into the details of the whole rape philosophy.  We are no strangers to the world. We see, read and hear it almost every other day, be it on social media, radio, television or the local newspaper. There are just so many bad things going on in the world and rape one of them. It’s the worst thing that could happen to a girl.

History of Rape Cases Reported On Football Game Days

Although, rape can happen to anyone, no matter what their age but observation says that most of the rape victims, if not all, are between the ages of 16-33 years and the culprit doesn’t have to be a grown up man who just can’t get a grip on his lust; it can be anyone, even that shy guy who sits in the back row of your math’s class and never says a word. In fact, that’s most likely situation.

History of FBS schools is full of cases where the students were sexually harassed and even raped on a football game day especially when the school was hosting such event.

Football games are considered crucial especially in those schools where most of the finance comes from this source that is why the football players are usually given undue privileges and unjust support by the school administration. They are shielded by their coaches and teachers most of the time even after being proved guilty.

According to Nigel Clay, one of the three players convicted of raping a girl in her dorm room at the University of Oklahoma back in 1998,
“Well, speaking for myself and a lot of other people, we felt like we were above the law…like OU would protect us from anything.”

This statement explains a lot about why most of the football players feel like they own the whole world and thus, can do whatever they want, wherever they want, with whoever they want.

It is said that almost 80% of the rape cases are not reported to the school authorities or the local police departments either due to the fear of social humiliation or further harassment from the offenders.

Research Findings

In America, school and college rapes have increased to a much greater extent especially on home football game days.

Recently, research was conducted on the increasing number of reported rape cases on Football game days held in Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Jason Lindo, one of  the co-authors of the said research who is an associate professor of Economics at Texas A&M University says,

“What we wanted to do in this study is to quantify the degree to which partying and alcohol consumption cause increases in reports of rape, and that’s why we decide to investigate the effects of Division I football games.”

According to the research, the number of reported rape cases increases up to 41% on days of Home football games in FBS schools out of which the rate of college-aged victim raped by college-aged offenders increases by 61% while the rate of rape attempts by unknown offenders rises by 61%. Not just that, the research also found that these football game days lead to about 770 rape cases, if not more, in FBS schools.

According to the research report:

“The researchers found that rapes reported by victims’ ages 17-24 increase by 28 percent on days when there are football games at Football Bowl Subdivision schools. FBS schools, previously known as D I-A schools, typically field the best teams in college football. Rape reports at FBS schools increase even more on days of home games, rising by 41 percent.”

It seems like the Home football games are serving as the breeding abode for sexual offences and harassment leading to hundreds of rape cases reported each year.

One of the most astonishing facts discovered by the researchers was the non-acquaintance of the victims with their offenders i.e. harassment by strangers, visiting football players, etc.  Liza Maatz, the Vice President of Government Relations for ASUW (American Association for University Women) was more surprised at the fact that most of the people involved in game day rapes were the offenders the victims never knew.

According to the Research:

“Researchers found that reported rapes involving an offender the victim didn’t know increased by 61 percent on home game days and by 29 percent during away games. By contrast, reported rapes involving an offender the victim did know rose by 28 percent during home games and by a statistically insignificant amount during away games.”

Liza Maatz, however, concluded that this increasing rate of rape attempts is not a football or college problem, although it is an American problem. She said,

“[The problem] is just rape culture overall, and that’s not exclusive by any stretch to college campuses,” she further stated, “It’s an important area of research, but it does not solve the problem or answer all the questions.”

This could either be because the players from other colleges are treated as VIP guests upon whom the rules and regulations of the host college don’t apply or because they have this idea that they can do anything in an unknown place and get away with it as smoothly as butter.  And, because the host school would be so packed with the teams from several other colleges and the school staff would also be so busy looking after the event management etc. that they’ll hardly notice what’s going on in a room located on the other side of the institute.

What to Do

The increasing rate of rapes in schools places a question mark on the efficiency of the college administration and the grooming of the offenders. Teachers, coaches and other administration staff members should have an indiscriminate attitude towards all. They should provide security and justice to the victims instead of blaming and humiliating them for their misery. If a girl is not safe in a school; a place that helps make you a better person, how can we expect her to be safe anywhere else?