sexual assault

College students can't miss the warnings these days about the risk of campus sexual assault, but increasingly, some students are also taking note of what they perceive as a different danger.

"Once you are accused, you're guilty," says Parker Oaks, one of several Boston University students stopped by NPR between classes. "We're living in a society where you're guilty before innocent now."

Xavier Adsera, another BU student, sounds a similar theme. "We used to not be fair to women on this issue," he says. "Now we're on the other extreme, not being fair to guys."

Ross Reynolds interviews Rebecaa Ullman and Aerlyn Pfeil, two Northwest midwives who work in developing nations with victims of sexual violence. Ullman, of Anacortes, Washington, and Pfeil, of Portland, Oregon, work in conflict zones like South Sudan, Haiti, and Papua New Guinea where the levels of sexual violence have skyrocketed.

University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)/

New crime data showing sexual assault increasing at the University of Washington actually could be a sign of progress, according to a prevention expert.

Pope Francis in a file photo from 2013.
Flickr Photo/Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY NC SA)/

Jeannie Yandel talks to Mary Dispenza, author and director of the Northwest branch of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, about Pope Francis' visit to the United States. 

Prison bars file photo.
Flickr Photo/Neil Conway (CC BY2.0)

A few years ago Theresa Nolte fell in love with Kelly Beard, an inmate at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Nolte was a prison staffer.

Consensual or not, sexual contact between prison staffers and inmates is illegal.

Students headed for college this fall can expect a slew of new efforts aimed at preventing campus sexual assault. A federal law that took effect this summer requires schools to offer programs to help raise awareness and lower risk.

It was once a tiny niche market, but it is now an exploding industry with everything from fingernail polish that detects date-rape drugs in drinks to necklaces that hide mini panic buttons — and all kinds of crash courses on how to get and give consent.

The cover story of this week's New York magazine is getting a lot of attention.

It features 35 women seated in chairs and one empty chair. The women are all dressed in black, looking straight ahead with both hands resting on their knees. It is a stark image, and all the more compelling because each of them is openly and by name accusing Bill Cosby of horrendous acts. Some say they were drugged and raped; others recount stories of narrowly escaping sexual assault.

A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that sexual violence against children is a global problem.

Seven countries were surveyed from 2007 to 2013. The first was Swaziland, which wanted to assess and address the problem. The rate of sexual violence against girls was 36.7 percent. Additional countries asked to be surveyed as well. Young people from the age of 13 to 24 were interviewed, with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 for each gender.

Marcie Sillman talks to Alexandra Gutierrez of Alaska Public Radio about Alaska's Safe Children's Act, popularly known as Erin's Law.

A man who identified himself as Missoula attorney Thomas Dove, right, elbows his way to the stage at a forum open to the public on May 6, accusing author Jon Krakauer, center, of lying and using confidential documents in his new book about rape in Missoul
Jacob Green via AP

David Hyde speaks with Eric Whitney, news director for Montana Public Radio, about author Jon Krakauer's visit to Missoula, Montana last night to face criticism of his new book, "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."

A report released Sunday about a Rolling Stone magazine story detailing an alleged rape at the University of Virginia is one more chapter in a long, troubling story for the campus.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses to get the support they need.

Ross Reynolds talks with Erika Teschke about a bill in the state legislature that would require all new rape kits to be tested by the Washington state crime lab. Teschke is director of Rape Kit-WA, a Seattle-based organization that advocates for rape kit reform.

A panel discussion on regional sex trafficking featuring (left to right): Zan Brookshire, Peter Qualliotine, Dan Satterberg, Robert Beiser, David Arkless, Mar Brettman, Pete Holmes, Noel Gomez and Valiant Richey.
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

King County and Seattle are looked to as leaders in the effort to prevent sex trafficking. But according to Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg the county has over 100 websites facilitating the sale of sex.

A recent Seattle research survey conducted over a 24-hour period counted 8,700 online postings and responses concerning men seeking commercial sex. 

A national campaign has highlighted the thousands of untested sexual assault kits held by police. Now the Seattle Police Department has pledged to send every sexual assault kit for testing by the state crime lab.