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.