Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

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By Amy Fox
By Benjy Jeffords

CARBONDALE -- A new national survey found that 40 percent of colleges and universities have not conducted sexual assault investigations in more than five years. 

The SIU police are out in full force, despite the campus being quieter than usual. But, that will soon change once students return next month.

"Most of the students are going to be away from home for the first time. They are going to find this new found freedom.  Well, with freedom comes new responsibility," said Lt. Ryan House, SIU Department of Safety Administrative Services Commander.

But, if precautions aren't taken early on, students run the risk of being caught in a dangerous situation.

In 2012, SIU reported 10 aggravated assaults on-campus property (including student housing), up slightly from 2011. And, while those numbers were far from perfect, Lt. House says it's important to make the community aware at all times.

"It's very important to be totally open and honest," said Lt. House.  "This is what we have.  We're not trying to hide any numbers."

To combat the issue of sexual assault on campus, the SIU Police have hired a new officer to implement a violence against women program on campus this school year.

"We are tasked with training the whole staff at SIU and all the student population," explained Lt. House.

The goal: to educate and raise awareness on campus, so more situations are reported and addressed.

Lt House said, "It's important that they report those crimes because we can investigate those years after they happen."

With the new school year quickly approaching, the SIU Police are staying optimistic about the future on campus.

"We keep implementing programs, conducting training and we will continue to educate the students and staff to prevent crime and not be a victim," said Lt. House.

 

 

The number one crime on the SIU campus is theft. Alcohol violations are also among the top offenses. House says the 2013 Crime Report will be released sometime this fall.

 

 

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