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UIPD Issue Timely Warning: Off-Campus Sexual Assault

University of Iowa Staff Receives Report of Assault

 

On February 20, 2014 University of Iowa staff received a report from a student that on February 15, 2014 the student was sexually assaulted at an off campus fraternity house. The student stated she was at the fraternity house when a fraternity member invited her to another room where he sexually assaulted her.

At this time the reporting party has decided not to report the incident to law enforcement and we are respecting her decision. 

In response to this incident, the University of Iowa Police Department is providing the following information on acquaintance sexual assaults. This information is general and not related to this incident.

It is estimated that nationwide 20 percent of women and six percent of college men experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault during their college years.  Data reveal nearly 50 percent of transgender people experience sexual violence.  No matter the demographic, the most common type of sexual assault is not committed by a stranger but by someone known to the victim, typically a date or other acquaintance.

There are risk factors associated with sexual assault, about which it may be useful to be aware, but being at risk in no way shifts responsibility for sexual assault to a victim/survivor.  The only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator.

Studies of sexual assault show a high correlation between acquaintance rape and drug/alcohol use.  Alcohol and drugs are often used to make someone vulnerable to sexual assault.  Be alert to people who pressure you or others to use a drug or consume alcohol.  Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you've left your drink alone, just get a new one.

If you engage in sex, be sure you understand your partner's limits.  Don't engage in sexual activities without affirmative consent from your partner.  Someone incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs cannot consent to sexual activity. This is reflected in university policy: http://dos.uiowa.edu/policy-list/affirmative-consent-2/.

FOR SOMEONE VULNERABLE OR AS A BYSTANDER; If you feel uneasy about a situation, trust your instincts and attempt to interrupt the chain of events.   Create a distraction, involve friends.  Make a commitment to ensure everyone has a safe way home, i.e., a trusted friend, taxi, Cambus or NITE Ride if available.  Being an active bystander doesn't require you put yourself at risk.  If you believe a crime has been committed we encourage you to call the police - 911.

Your health is the most important issue and we strongly encourage victims to seek medical attention immediately, even if there are no obvious physical injuries.  Receiving a sexual assault examination is free and conducted by a specially trained nurse.  An examination does not obligate someone to any kind of investigation; however, it allows evidence to be collected and preserved in the event you choose to authorize a criminal investigation.   In addition to seeking medical attention, there are other options for self-care after an assault, including contacting a confidential victim advocate (24/7 support at 319-335-6000).  More information about options is provided here: http://osmrc.uiowa.edu/victim-options and here: http://police.uiowa.edu/be-proactive/reporting-sexual-assault/ under SEXUAL ASSAULT REFERRAL MATRIX.

If someone chooses a police investigation, we will investigate, provide support, and offer related services.  Sex offenses are treated with seriousness on our campus; criminal and/or severe disciplinary action can be taken (including suspension or expulsion). There are free confidential resources to support victim/survivors through both the criminal and university disciplinary processes.

UI Police offer Rape Aggression Defense courses as well as personal safety information through a Crime Prevention Specialist. See http://police.uiowa.edu/ for more information.

This information is being released in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses, including timely warnings of crimes that may represent a threat to the safety of students or employees. 


Posted by | 21 February 2014

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