Breaking the Silence on Campus Sexual Assault
Group Members: Rachel Hubbard, Teddy Ade, Joey Hadden, Jeremy Lohr
“I’m a first year student here at St. Ed’s. I was sexually assaulted twice…”
The second time this 19-year-old freshman, who has asked to remain anonymous, was sexually assaulted, it occurred on campus during the school year.
A 2015 report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows that one in five women are sexually assaulted on campus and that 90% of college victims do not report it.
After coming home with a young man from sixth street she was sexually assaulted the next morning. “When I went to eat breakfast he threw my plate and began doing sexual activities with me.”
“I felt used. I began to not trust other people in a relationship. You can’t have sex the same way and you feel taken advantage of and you’re just a sex object.”
She is now a member of It’s On Us, a sexual assault awareness campaign launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
St. Edward’s is one of just 224 schools to join the former Vice President’s initiative, according to former chapter President Maddie Cohen.
After the freshman’s second assault she did not want to use any of the resources on campus. “I felt like an idiot for letting it happen again.”
Her and Cohen state that it’s important for students to know where they can find help on campus in the case of a sexual assault.
Possible resources for students include the Health and Counseling Center and the office of the Dean of Students. Steven Pinkenburg, Dean of Students at St. Edward’s, is in charge of dealing with sexual assault cases on campus. Mr. Pinkenburg shared with us the steps taken in the event of these cases.
A survivor of a sexual assault case gets to choose how they want the situation to unfold. They can first report to the administration of the Dean of Students office or they can report criminal charges to the University Police Department. Title IX legally requires that all schools and universities must respond to and resolve any hostile situations that occur on campus, including sexual harassment and violence.
University Police Department Commander Homer Huerta shared updates the university is making for students including a new app called Topper Safe.
In an effort to help students feel safer on campus, Topper Safe will soon be released. Along with providing emergency guidelines and contact resources, it will also allow the user to request safe rides, submit anonymous tips, as well as the option to relay any questions or concerns.
If you yourself have been sexually assaulted or know anyone on campus who has been sexually assaulted, know you are not alone. You do not have fight it yourself.
The Health and Counseling Center is located at Lady Bird Johnson Hall, 100. To make an appointment call, 512-448-8686.