Colleges move to limit sexual assault by campus doctors
- Universities are tightening restrictions for medical services they provide on campus and making students more aware of their rights as institutions work to avoid scandals involving health services that have rocked several recently.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that some universities are making certain that an observer is present along with a person performing the medical procedure, and others are working with students to be sure they understand their rights and what is appropriate — and know they can report concerns.
- Some experts say college physicians' background and record keeping should be checked thoroughly, and that there should be multiple checks on the doctors and none should hold too much power.
Experts also say it is also important for colleges to handle reports of assaults quickly and correctly, which was a concern at the Penn State University, Michigan State University and Ohio State University, where three of the most prominent cases occurred recently. At Baylor University, female students charged that the university mishandled their reports of sexual assault.
Penn State not only suffered damage to it’s otherwise strong reputation with the abuse trial of football coach Jerry Sandusky, enrollment dropped significantly, but Michigan State University, where team doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse of young women got extensive attention, enrollment this year is at a record level.
A recent survey has shown that most students visit the campus medical facilities on average once a year.
Data also shows that a third of rape victims are attacked before they are 17, and that one quarter of girls are sexually abused by 18, and athletic programs have often been the focus of accusations of sexual misconduct.
More serious crimes on campus are documented by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), which reports that women are more than two times more likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed in college and about one quarter of undergraduate females experience sexual violence.
- Chronicle of Higher Education Abuse Scandals Involving Doctors Have Shaken Several Colleges. Now Others Are Making Changes