sexual assault

Laurie Halse Anderson's groundbreaking 1999 novel, "Speak," is credited with opening a new phase in the national dialogue about sexual assault and consent.

In a unique memoir told in free-verse poetry, Shout, Anderson shares her own experience of sexual assault. 

The book denounces society's failures in dealing with sexual aggression, and boosts the people with the courage to speak up in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. 

Oregon Health Authority/Oregon Department of Education

One in eight students in an Oregon survey reported being pressured into unwanted sexual activity.  But the incidents are not evenly distributed across the landscape. 

For example, Douglas County shows a higher rate of sexual coercion than Jackson and Josephine Counties.  A new set of maps from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education show the information graphically.  

The Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Map is meant to assist in lowering the rates of sexual coercion.

Rogue Valley artist Marigny Goodyear brings a lot of skills to her work; she's an artist with a business degree.  Her usual modes of expression are abstract painting and essays. 

And one of her recent essays packed a wallop: it was an open letter to all the men who took advantage of her sexually in her teen years. 


Few people will approach the issue of sexual assault the way Winnie Li did.  Her novel Dark Chapter, a fictionalized account of her real-life rape, brings readers into the mind of victim and rapist. 

And it kindles a larger discussion of how we as a society respond to the survivors of sexual assault. 

Susan Moen helps coordinate the response at the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and BB Beltran does the same for Lane County Sexual Assault Support Services (SASSLane). 


A sexual assault incident in Ashland a few months ago spurred social worker Alaya Ketani into action.  She formed a new organization, KAWS, for Keeping Ashland Women Safe

The organization is brand-new, having held its first public meeting in the middle of May. 

But it has already built connections in the community, including with Ashland Police

Vicki Nunn, Public Domain,

Vanessa Grigoriadis went back to college.  But not to take classes; to talk to students and observe the culture, with a particular focus on sexuality and sexual assault. 

Sexual assault appears to be epidemic, if you focus on the major news stories.  And the ways in which people relate to each other have changed greatly in the age of social media and ubiquitous cellphones. 

Grigoriadis wrote her findings in Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus

JPR News

Sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment are topics we need to talk about... but are frequently reluctant to discuss openly.  Ashland High School student Bella Head wants her fellow students to talk about them. 

Bella is a sexual assault survivor herself, and the founder of a sexual assault education campaign at AHS, "Got Consent?" 

Her efforts in Ashland mirror those of city police and Southern Oregon University, which are gaining national recognition for their sexual assault response programs. 

VENTSday: Sexual Assault

Oct 18, 2016

Rather than argue about WHY we're discussing sexual assault right now, let us discuss the issue itself.  Because it clearly hits some people hard. 

Many more people will admit privately to sexual assault than ever reported them legally.  And we invite listeners to share their experiences in being affected by sexual assault or its reporting. 

VENTSday seeks YOUR thoughts, through our survey (below); by phone at 800-838-3760 live (or 541-552-6331 in advance); by email at


The abuses in the illicit marijuana industry are well-documented: abuse of water rights, environmental abuse of land and water, and more. 

The "more" includes evidence of sexual abuse inside the marijuana trade in the Emerald Triangle of California's North Coast. 

Investigative reporter Shoshana Walter talked to many women forced into sexual acts while they worked as pot trimmers. 

The abuse extends to sex trafficking. 

Teaching Sex Assault Prevention In School

Aug 22, 2016

Sex education in Oregon includes more than understanding human sexuality.

A year ago, the state legislature passed a bill (SB 856) to require sex abuse prevention education as well. 

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Jackson County works with the schools to deliver the information required; we learn about the elements of the program.

Report Concerns Frat Problems At UO

Jun 9, 2016
University of Oregon

The University of Oregon took the unusual step of ordering an external review of the "Greek" system on campus, fraternities and sororities. 

The review confirmed many of the issues already being addressed by University leadership.  Among them: that binge drinking, sexual assault, and hazing are still prevalent within fraternities and sororities, with peer pressure to not report serious issues. 

Dr. Robin Holmes is the Vice President of Student Life at UO; she ordered the review. 

Taking A Hard Look At Campus Sex Assault

Jun 9, 2016

Sexual assault on college campuses was already a heavily discussed topic.  Then came the Brock Turner case at Stanford. 

Turner admitted raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a campus party; blamed drinking, peer pressure, and promiscuity... and got six months in jail. 

Now calls for the judge's removal are being made, while universities work to establish policies on handling sexual assault causes. 

Stanford law professor and sociologist Michele Landis Dauber, who is a member of a committee seeking the judge's recall, shares her thoughts on what should be done in such cases. 

University of Oregon psychology professor Jennifer Freyd also weighs in. 

Sexual Assault Examiners In Short Supply

May 17, 2016
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune via

When someone is raped, a sexual assault forensic examiner can be an invaluable help. 

The examiner, a trained medical professional, can provide care for the victim and help gathering evidence to make a case in court. 

But a recent federal report shows that such examiners are few and far between in many states, particularly in rural areas.  The GAO--Government Accountability Office--compiled the report. 

"Getting Screwed" By Prostitution Laws

Oct 28, 2015
ForeEdge Books

Many people have complained about the "war on drugs" as a modern-day version of Prohibition, encouraging the very behaviors it is meant to discourage. 

Journalist and professor Alison Bass says something very similar is happening in the sex trade. 

In her book Getting Screwed, Bass follows the lives of sex workers and their interactions with the law. 

Among her findings: in areas where adult prostitution has been decriminalized, violence and sexually transmitted diseases occur at lower rates. 

Grants Pass Schools

If we are truly determined to reduce violence and sexual assault, it makes sense to work with people at the age when aggressive and violent tendencies begin to emerge: when they are young. 

The Women's Crisis Support Team in Josephine County brings its prevention classes to Grants Pass High School for another school year, with a great deal of previous student interest documented. 

We talk about the components of the program, and the effects it is showing. 

Innovation In Sexual Assault Handling At SOU

Feb 23, 2015
U.S. Navy

The rest of the country continues to take notice of the innovative programs for dealing with sexual assault in Ashland and at Southern Oregon University

The general approach: let the assault survivor call the shots on pace and depth of investigation. 

The city and SOU programs were featured on a national TV broadcast last month (20/20 on ABC). 

SOU Lauded For Sexual Assault Response

Dec 13, 2014
DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The terms "sexual assault" and "campus" keep showing up in news headlines. 

College leaders, police and Congress are taking notice. 

A recent Senate hearing featured testimony from Southern Oregon University about the school's program for dealing with sexual assault, called "Campus Choice."

It is a partnership with City of Ashland police and the "You Have Options" program, which puts victims in control of the investigations into their assaults. 


Ashland, Oregon is not one of the major cities of the United States. 

But it is a leader in at least one field: the investigation of sexual assault crimes. 

The city's "You Have Options" program is drawing attention and requests for information from law enforcement all over the country. 

Now the country comes to Ashland for the 2014 Southern Oregon Sexual Assault Symposium

Ashland Police

One of the features of the "You Have Options" sexual assault program pioneered by Ashland Police is its speed.  Or lack, actually. 

"You Have Options" gives sexual assault victims the option of choosing NOT to press charges immediately after the incident. 

And that "go slow" option puts the program in conflict with rules that govern sexual assault reporting on college campuses. 


Most victims of sexual assault never report the crime to police. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of such crimes go unreported. In an effort to change that, the police department in Ashland  is pioneering a new approach that lets rape victims call the shots.