Many New Mexico college students enjoy going to parties, hanging out with their friends and taking part in other campus activities. Unfortunately, some students may become victims of sexual abuse during their time at school.

According to the AAUW, 89% of schools have claimed no incidents of rape in recent years. However, the research does not support those claims. The educational institutions making these claims are required to report any incidents if they participate in federal financial aid programs, so why the discrepancy between the research and the reporting?

One of the biggest reasons is more than likely the fact that victims do not want to come forward. Victims of sexual abuse tend to feel shame, guilt and other emotions that keep them from wanting anyone to know what happened to them. In addition, they may fear some form of retaliation from the perpetrator, other students and others who may somehow accuse the victim of wrongdoing in the incident.

The other problem appears to lie with the institutions themselves. The AAUW believes their reporting requirements do not allow for any numbers to be reported. Part of the problem is the culture on many college and university campuses, which seems to discourage victims from coming forward despite the popularity of the #MeToo movement. Students who become the victims of sexual abuse have legal rights and the more of them who come forward, the better the chances are that this issue will see the light of day and real change can begin.