Campus Safety: How to Deal With Sexual Assault

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Photo courtesy of bemozza.org

Photo courtesy of bemozza.org

Sexual assault is one of the most prominent violent crime acts seen on college campuses across the United States, with 1 in 4 women experiencing it during their college career.

Though the statistics are lower at Snow College, it is a topic that students need to be educated about and be aware of as they go throughout their scholastic careers.  According to the Snow College annual safety and fire report, there were six reported acts of sexual assault on campus, and five reported in other housing facilities.

“If a person was sexually assaulted, they should talk to the Wellness Center immediately,” said professor Nick Marsing, “It is a situation that no one should ever have to live through, but they can get help.”

A majority of sexual assaults involve someone the victim knows and often trusts to some degree. It is rare that the perpetrator is a complete stranger, thus making it important for students to be cautious of the situations they allow themselves to be in.

Professor Nick Marsing, who teaches psychology courses and is actively involved in sexual assault prevention courses, warns that the most dangerous mindset to have is denial. Everyone should be aware and educated on the dangers that exist around them.

“Snow College offers several different resources to prevent sexual assault. Psychology Club teaches a sexual assault prevention class, campus security is an active part of campus life, and housing trains their personnel.”

Preventative measures are important to keep in mind; however, sexual assault cannot always be prevented, no matter how cautious the victim is.

When sexual harassment or sexual assault does occur, it is crucial that the victim is aware of their rights. The first step is for a victim to file a Title IX complaint; this allows the school to carry out a formal investigation against the accused and to determine disciplinary action.

While the investigation is taking place, however, the victim is granted a variety of rights for his or her own protection. Safety precautions that can be taken prior to the outcome of the investigation include: “no contact” orders, public safety escorts, housing accommodations, and even changes to class schedules.

Though the Title IX complaint initiates an investigation through the school, there will be no cases turned over to the police without the consent of the victim.

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