Is rape a common problem?

“The University of Akron has had three alleged rapes reported in the residence halls during the 2007-2008 school year alone. On Nov. 14 a student reported being raped in Grant Hall, she did not press charges. Two weeks later another student reported being raped in Spanton Hall, the suspect was prosecuted.”

The University of Akron has had three alleged rapes reported in the residence halls during the 2007-2008 school year alone.

On Nov. 14 a student reported being raped in Grant Hall, she did not press charges.

Two weeks later another student reported being raped in Spanton Hall, the suspect was prosecuted.

The third alleged rape was reported to UAPD on Feb. 20, in which a student reported being raped in an unknown room in Gallucci Hall.

According to statistics from the Office of General Counsel there have been three to four forcible sex offenses since 2004, the earliest date available.

Both Police Chief Paul Callahan and Director of Residence Life and Housing John Messina, said the university has done several things to help fight these offenses.

The university puts on numerous self-defense classes for women and rape aggression defense programs every year. To help girls prevent a sexual attack, whether its an acquaintance attack or a stranger attack, Callahan said.

The university has a number of base-level security mechanisms and sign-in procedures intended to restrict access in the halls to only registered visitors, Messina said.

When asked to expand on what the base-level procedures were, Messina’s assistant, Kris Nakoneczny, answered.

I’m guessing the base-level Mr. Messina is referring to is card-restricted access to residence halls, stringent sign-in procedures, security cameras, and patrols of the halls, she said.

Callahan said when the woman knows the suspect, it’s harder to prevent something from happening than if the attacker was a stranger.

However, he did stress that people need to think about their own safety first.

That includes taking advantage of safety programs offered on campus such as the self-defense classes and limiting the amount of alcohol one consumes.

The majority of attacks involve alcohol in some stage or another, either by the perpetrator or the victim, Callahan stated.

Messina agreed that alcohol is involved in a majority of sexual offenses.

Because most allegations of sexual assault on university campuses nationally are typically between acquaintances and involve alcohol, we spend a great deal of time trying to educate students about protecting themselves from those types of situations, using tactics such as traveling in pairs, keeping an eye out for friends and avoiding abuse of alcohol and drugs, Messina said in an e-mail.

According to police reports only one of the three rapes reported had alcohol involved.

Kent State University reported that they had no rapes charged in residence halls in the past years.

Brian Hellwig, security manager for residence halls at Kent State, said they have about four or five rapes that go without prosecution.

Hellwig stated that they have about 6,000 students living in their residence halls on campus.

Director of Rape Crisis Center for Medina and Summit Counties, Terri Heckman, said that it is not uncommon for them to hear from college students.

We get consistent calls from college students, Heckman said. It doesn’t mean there was a rape, it could be an ex-boyfriend stalking them or a girl gone home for break and something happened.

She said that in order to avoid rape and other sexual offenses both men and women need to educate themselves.

They need to understand more about boundaries and talking to the person you’re dating about boundaries, she said.

Also, just think about the situation you’re in.

You’ve got to think about where you put yourself. Are you putting yourself in a vulnerable situation?

When you’re first meeting somebody on a Friday night that’s not necessarily the best time to put yourself in a vulnerable situation, she said.

The example she gave was of a student who met a guy at a party and went into the room next door so they could talk.

It’s real simple to say, well lets go in the room next door to talk. That’s great, but it does put you in a more vulnerable position, she said. It would be better if you went down the hallway… or if you do go into a room leave the door open.

Heckman also stated that guys should stop and think about things as well.

Guys need to think, has this girl been drinking too much that if I go through with this even though she is acting like she wants me, is she going to file charges on me in the morning?

She suggested that women make a pact when going to parties. This was an idea she got from an episode of Greta Van Sustren in which a girl had gone missing after leaving a party with a guy she had just met.

According to Heckman, the girl and her friends made a pact that who ever goes to a party goes home with each other at the end of the night. At this particular party, the girl had talked her friends into letting her leave with this guy.

The important thing is to have these agreements with friends, and you have to stick to them, Heckman said. You can always go out with him tomorrow night.

According to Heckman most women, about 80 percent of women, know their assailant.

The guy in the bushes it’s not that. Sometimes you can say I can’t place the guy but I know I know him, she said. It might end up being the guy who checked you out in the food line or checked you out in the bookstore.

If a woman is assaulted Heckman advises them to get medical assistance.

Getting medical help and even calling the rape crisis hotline does not mean that you have to report, they are two separate decisions, she said.

The reason most women do not report is they think it is their fault.

It’s that guilt, it’s believing that no one else will believe them, being embarrassed, feeling tainted, not wanting to be a part of the rumor mill. Those are the reasons women don’t report it, she said.

Remember drinking is not illegal, being in college is not illegal, making out with a guy is not illegal, being in your room is not illegal, it’s the crime that happens that’s illegal.

” #1.1361198:130333822.jpg:20080311_gallucci_cb.jpg:Gallucci Hall had a rape reported in it this year.:Christopher Bair”