Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

It’s All About Who You Know: Rape And Sexual Assault On Campus

 

Rape, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will.

 

Molly McLay, Assistant Director at UIUC’s Women’s Resources Center, specializes in topics regarding sexual assault cases and runs the University’s sexual assault awareness program, First Year Campus Acquaintance Rape Education or FYCARE.

 

College campuses are common for rape to occur since there are many risk factors involved on a day-to-day basis.

 

“On our campus, the statistic is that 75 percent of sexual assaults that occur involve alcohol in some form.”  McLay says, “Other factors are students being in a new place, getting to know new people and not really knowing those people well enough.”

 

 

Cecil Moore, Detective with the University of Illinois Police Department, says there are between eight to twelve reported sexual assaults a year, but it is common that most assaults are not reported.  Majority of the cases involve someone the victim or survivor knows or is familiar with; it is rare to be attacked by a stranger.

 

Detective Moore says there are six general rules to follow in order to prevent or avoid sexual assault situations:

 

1. Follow the standard safety practices university police tells you each year (e.g. stay in groups, walk in well lit areas, etc.)

 

2. When going to a party or a bar, bring a friend and never walk alone at night.

 

3. Watch your drink if you’re drinking at a bar or a party and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. [picture of group of friends]

 

4. Don’t drink too much because alcohol impairs your judgment and well-being.

 

5. Pay attention to your surroundings and put the cellphone away!

 

6. Know where the emergency phones are located.

 

 

Rape is a traumatic experience for the victim and is hard to move on from.  Detective Moore explains that from the women he has interviewed, all of them deal with the trauma in different ways.

 

“Some women try to hold the trauma inside, as if it didn’t really happen.  Many women blame themselves for being assaulted.  Many women worry about the stigma the assault will have on them, especially if someone finds out.  There are more effects that I can list here.  If a person can feel it, think it, etc. they will,” Detective Moore says.

 

McLay says that the number one message they want to send out is that it is never the victim’s fault.  The amount of alcohol someone consumes, the clothes someone wears or the where the victim was does not make him/her at fault.

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month.  Be sure to educate yourself about rape and other assaults to make sure that you and your friends avoid dangerous situations.

 

For help or information, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1.800.656.HOPE.

 

Hannah Butler is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in French. She is a contributor for Uloop.com, loyal Chi Omega, Disney fanatic and Coca-Cola lover. Aside from going to school, Hannah spends her time working out, watching movies, eating and hanging out with friends. Though she is a college student, she also enjoys listening to the Jonas Brothers, One Direction and Aerosmith.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️