Female sexually assaulted in dorms
April 27, 2010 12:28 PM
Due to both the sensitive nature of the case and a pending investigation, Deputy Chief of Police Reggie Parson could not give details on the assault, except to say that the victim knew the suspect and that the incident is being classified as a rape at this time.
A police report posted to the University police department's crime and arrest log said the victim's mother reported the crime to police within a day after it occurred.
Parson said this is the third rape to be reported to University police this semester, though the prior reports regarded incidents from previous semesters that were not disclosed to police until recently.
A campus security report released last year showed that in 2007, one rape was reported in campus housing. Additionally, six cases were reported on non-campus property located near the University. The security report showed no rapes being reported to University police within either campus jurisdiction in 2008. Last year's statistics have yet to be released.
Karla Castillo, coordinator for the Sexual Abuse-Free Environment, a sexual assault resource center on campus, said that only a small percentage of rapes and other forms of sexual assault that occur on or around campus are reported.
"A lot of people don't want to go to the police," she said. "The numbers that are going to show up on the crime report are only the ones that our University police deal with, and that's going to cut out a lot of people."
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, college-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in other age groups.
Castillo said that rather than go to the police, some rape victims opt to go straight to the SAFE Place, which provides counseling as well as referrals to off-campus sexual abuse resources. The center also offers outreach to residence halls when requested, which is especially aimed at freshmen and students who are otherwise living on their own for the first time.
"There are certain factors that will heighten the risk of being (sexually) assaulted on campus," Castillo said. "Living in the dorms is a risk factor, drinking alcohol is a risk factor. Being a woman is a risk factor."
She said that while some men are sexually assaulted, it is at a considerably lower rate than woman and more often than not the perpetrators are also men.
Castillo said that it's important for sexual assault victims to take care of their mental and physical health as soon as possible. "I would say coming to the SAFE Place is a good first step," she said. "Unless someone is in immediate danger, then I would say call 911."
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