Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

From College Campuses to #MeToo: Sexual Assault in America
  • the dp caroline gibson sorenson

                                                                                                         Photo credit: Caroline Gibson 


In a campus-wide talk for the for Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs on October 24, 2018, Ortner Center Executive Director Susan B. Sorenson underscored how far we've come as well as the numerous issues that remain. She recounted how societies have dealt with sexual assault (e.g., it was a property crime against the father in some societies; many U.S. states continue to have qualifiers on spousal rape) and how university student action led to campus sexual assault being addressed as an educational civil rights issue. She noted that the first research on campus sexual assault was published in 1957 and how research funding and productivity have ebbed and flowed since then. A discussion with the audience focused on what happens next; topics included backlash in response to MeToo, how colleges and universities might respond to the change in federal guidelines regarding campus investigations, and how to involve men and boys in positive change. 


Read more about the lecture in The Daily Pennsylvanian here.