Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


We’re covering stories from around the nation including a victory for safety for nuclear site workers; President Trump chastises Republicans for not securing border wall funding; and a predicted spike in population fuels concerns about the need for care.

Daily Newscasts

We Believe You: Sexual Assault Survivor Advocates for Others

The University of Tennessee is confronting allegations in a federal lawsuit the university's student culture enables sexual assaults by student athletes. (J Stephen Conn/flickr.com)
The University of Tennessee is confronting allegations in a federal lawsuit the university's student culture enables sexual assaults by student athletes. (J Stephen Conn/flickr.com)
April 19, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Andrea Pino knows firsthand how devastating a sexual assault can be. She was raped by a fellow student at the University of North Carolina in 2012 and is co-author of a new book chronicling the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.

Earlier this year, six women filed a federal lawsuit claiming the University of Tennessee has created a student culture that enables sexual assaults by student athletes.

Pino says the situation is not unlike what she's seen at other universities.

"There are often these institutions within the institution, whether they're fraternities or athletic programs. There's power," she says. "There's power in these organizations, there's power in these individuals that run these organizations, and in many ways they're untouchable. They're oftentimes seen as being more valuable to the organization than an everyday student that might have been assaulted."

According to new data released by the University of Tennessee, there was a 31 percent increase in student-on-student sexual misconduct in 2015, compared with data from the year prior.

UT has increased its support services available to victims in the past year. According to the Association of American Universities, 23 percent of female college students said they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in college.

Nearly 11 percent said it resulted in penetration or oral sex.

Pino also was featured in the documentary "The Hunting Ground" which was shown at last year's Sundance Film Festival.

In 2013, she and others filed a complaint against UNC that resulted in a federal investigation. She explains the reason for the title of her book, "We Believe You."

"Unfortunately, hearing those words is oftentimes considered incredibly radical," says Pino. "The idea of believing survivors still is seen as a revolutionary act because we are living in a society that tells us to do the opposite; we're taught victims put themselves in these places."

Nationwide, one out of every six American women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN