Sexual assault discussion returns to campus

Sexual assaults do occur on college campuses: 
According to statistics provided by the National Sexual Violence  Resource Center, up to 25 percent  of women attending college will be the victims  of attempted or completed rapes over the course of their academic careers. Additionally, for every 1,000 women  attending a college or university, there are an estimated 35 incidents of rape during the academIt's on usic year.

Crowder College appears to avoid this trend. According to the college’s own 2015 Security and Fire Safety Report, there were no reported incidents of forcible or non-forcible  sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence  on campus from 2012 to 2014.  The college is required by federal to make the report public, and it includes  the most recent crime statistics  over a three-year period. The 2015  statistics aren’t available yet.

Baylee Tanner, a freshman general studies major living on campus, said she feels safe living in the dorms. Though she stays aware of her surrounding , she said  the presence of the campus security makes her feel free from danger.

“I feel like the security  guards do a good job of keeping us safe,” she said.  “I came back at midnight once,  and they were still driving around  in their patrol car.”

While no sexual assaults have been reported on campus in recent years, the statistics do not mean  sexual assault can’t or hasn’t happened at Crowder.

According to statistics published by the Bureau of Justice, 63 percent of completed rapes, 70 percent of attempted rapes, 83 percent of sexual assaults were not reported to police between 1992 and 2000.

Many victims no-more_inline_tag_l_rgbwho did not report the crimes cited reasons such as fear of reprisal, police bias, personal matters or even a need to protect the offender as their reasons not to do so. IT should be noted that sexual assault victims may wait months, years or even decades before coming forward with their stories.

Get away from your attacker and report the assault: According to the “assault and investigation” page on Crowder’s website, if you are a victim of sexual assault, you should go to a safe place away from your attacker and tell a family member or friend you know and trust about the assault.

It is important to report the assault immediately.  Assaults which take place in the residence halls  can be reported to the staff. Assaults elsewhere on campus can be reported to  campus security at (417)455-5574 or the vice-president of student affairs.  If you are assaulted off-campus, call 911.

You should also go to a hospital and tell emergency personnel that you have been assaulted. It is important not to shower, bathe, or brush your teeth before going, as that will remove critical physical evidence. Take along a clean set of clothes to change into after being examined.

Even if charges aren’t pressed, the hospital can determine risks and other health options for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.It is never too late to report the assault, even if it has been years since the assault took place. Reporting doesn’t mean you have to press charges.

Help is available: If you or anyone you know needs help, call the Lafayette House in Joplin, MO at (417)782-1772 or 1(800)410-1772. Their emergency services for victims of sexual assault include: emergency room bedside advocacy, individual counseling, residential shelter, group counseling and education, community support and case management. Their phone line is open 24 hours a day. More resources are available at Crowder’s “assault and investigation” webpage at