Sen. Gillibrand’s Quiet Deletion

The Senate’s foremost advocate for feelz, New York’s own junior Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, may still cling to her deepest, heartfelt belief that American college campuses are hotbeds of rape that make the Congo look like a safe place, but she has silently deleted from her website the thoroughly debunked statistic upon which so much of the hysteria relied. Via Ashe Schow:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., one of the most prominent lawmakers working to curb campus sexual assault, has removed from her website the debunk[ed] claim that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, according to Politico.

Using the tracking website ChangeDetection.com, Politico’s Caitlin Emma found that a sentence claiming that incredibly high rate of sexual assault had been deleted from Gillibrand’s website page about her bill, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. The change was first detected by Inside Higher Ed reporter Michael Stratford.

The one in five stat has been foundational to the claim that there is an epidemic of rape and sexual assault on campus, justifying the evisceration of due process as well as the demand for extreme changes in law and culture to end this blight that doesn’t exist.

While this is a huge step forward for Gillibrand, even if she lacks the courage to concede her error, it isn’t the end of her indulgence in fantastical fact.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses reported over 5,000 forcible sex offenses in 2013 – but a recent study shows that the actual number of offenses is estimated to be at least six times that number.

Rather than protect survivors and hold assailants accountable, colleges and universities are incentivized by the current federal laws to sweep cases under the rug. A recent survey of colleges and universities found that 41 percent of colleges have not conducted a single investigation of sexual violence on their campus in the past five years.

If you’re sufficiently interested to click on Gillibrand’s links in the first quoted paragraph, don’t hurt yourself scratching your head. It’s not there. As for the second, it’s classic “begging the question,” as the good Senator finds it damnable that no investigations of sexual violence may be due to no sexual violence since she believes there must be sexual violence, and therefore the absence of proof of a thing is the proof of the thing itself. I know, it can make your head hurt, but that’s the nature of blind faith.

While the statistic may be gone from the junior Senator’s website, it lives on her heart, per her spokesman, Glen Caplin:

“There are some who attack this statistic to claim that sexual assault on college campuses is not a problem,” Caplin said. “They need to get their head out of the sand. The problem is real and it is pervasive. Without this distraction, their argument has no merit.”

That’s the beauty of belief.  No facts are needed, and nothing can shake it.  And if you don’t share it, perhaps because you are fond of actual fact, then you can’t work for Senator Gillibrand because you have your head in the sand.  If she says it’s real, it’s real. She’s a senator, you know.

11 comments on “Sen. Gillibrand’s Quiet Deletion

  1. Jack

    So if we believe that “6 times” figure, we have to believe that US college campuses are literally the most dangerous place with such statistics in the entire world for a female to be raped (at 142.8 per 100,000) – South Africa was #1 reporting with around 130 per 100,000, but apparently Princeton and Harvard are far, far more dangerous…

    (I have to say with statistics, because the DRC is a complete mystery and may be sadly, as high as 600/100,000 – and not in the sense that US SJWs “feel” the US’s rate may be higher).

  2. Quinn Martindale

    The source for the 41% figure partially addresses the question you raised about whether the lack of investigations could be due to a lack of incidents. From page 9 (citing data on the last page) –

    “Overall, the Subcommittee found that 9% of schools in the national sample conducted
    fewer investigations of forcible and non-forcible sexual offenses in the past five years than they reported to the Department of Education. The Subcommittee also found that 21% of the nation’s largest private institutions conducted fewer investigations than the number of incidents reported to the Department of Education, with some institutions reporting as many as seven times more incidents of sexual violence than they have investigated.”

    1. SHG Post author

      If you go through the report, page by page, squint really hard, ignore standard definitions of words, add apples and Chevys and multiply by 7, you can almost understand where Gillibrand’s numbers come from. As for a disparity between complaints and investigations, consider that there are complaints that are facially inadequate, and therefore require no investigation. Or complaints in which the complainant subsequently fails or refuses to cooperate. Or complaints that are totally nuts. Etc.

  3. Lioness

    Please fix the mispelling of “debunked” in your 1st paragraph, as well as correcting it in Ms. Schow’s quote.
    Otherwise I would share this blog entry; it is worthwhile.

    1. SHG Post author

      As for correcting the typo, I appreciate your alerting me and am happy to (and have) corrected it. As to your, “Otherwise I would share this blog entry,” you’re a narcissistic asshole if you think your sharing it matters or serves as the reason why I would correct a typo.

  4. MP

    As to your begging the question complaint, I think it is worthwhile to review analysis on the active role Colleges and Universities play in attempting to reduce their sexual assault numbers.
    [Ed Note: Link deleted per rules.]

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