We originally wanted to do a feature on the support group “Take Back the Night,” but as we presented the story to the class our professors insisted that we change it to Jaime Cochran. Jamie was a survivor of a horrific series of attacks from her boyfriend.
For me, I wrote about WVU and how the numbers relate to the national average. I thought that because the video portion of the project was focusing on the Jaime that the print should focus on WVU and localize something that happens all across the country and the world. The easy part of the project was finding the stats for women in college, but the hard part was relating those numbers to the story.
The story is that WVU and most colleges don’t have the numbers that are supposed to be true because people aren’t reporting the attacks. The question I had that never got answered in any interview was how do these numbers pop up if no one is reporting them. Where does something like 25% come from if people aren’t reporting the attacks? Everyone I talked to said that they were numbers that are estimated from groups and from people who say they know someone that sexually assaulted.
But as we started doing the next research and setting up interviews, I found it hard to get the questions I wanted answered, answered. We talked to a sergeant in the WVU campus police department and Mr. Beazley at the Health Science Center. They are the ones who came to the “Take Back the Night,” event and we thought that they would be the best to tell us about the stats at WVU and what they do to handle it.
I was disappointed with the way the story came out. I didn’t think we found the right answers the questions we had and we didn’t really present anything new to the news. I mean we basically repeated what everyone already knows, that people are embarrassed when they are attacked or raped. I really wanted to find better answers but you can’t force your interviewees to give you the answers you want to hear.
This is the type of story I would really like to pursue in the future because it is a timeless issue because it continues today and it will be around for a while and people need to know about it.