Video: New Study Shows Larger View of Sexual Assault

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Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) — The Association of American Universities recently released new insight into the number of female college students who have experienced some sort of sexual assault.

The study shows that out of more than 150,000 college women surveyed, 23% have experienced some form of sexual assault.

“It’s just so much easier to get into a predicament when you’re all alone, then it is when you’re with somebody else…”, said Victim Assistance Coordinator Kim Hood.

She says that many of these situations could be prevented by being conscious of where you are and who you’re with.

“Be more aware of your surroundings, we all these days are so focused on our cell phones…”, said Hood, “…as soon as we walk out of a store, out of class, out of whatever you’re doing, you’re on your cell phone or looking at your cell phone and you have no idea what’s going on around you”

But while there are precautionary steps people can take to prevent an encounter, those who do go through it are often times hesitant to come forward.

The AAU study reached out to nearly 780,000 students, receiving a response from less than 20% of that.

Professional counselor Craig Watson explained that many factors, such as shame, could leave a victim to stay quiet.

“A lot of times, sexual assaults happen from somebody the victim knows, so that comes into play as well, as “i’m going to ruin this person’s reputation, career, life…”

Along with seeking the help of a professional, Watson also says there are other safe ways for people to speak out.

Watson mentioned one thing that is forgotten is that a police report can be filed without pressing charges. He says that way, a victim could anonymously report an incident to the police, and police will have a perpetrator’s name on file in case of any other future incidents.

Watson also said M.U.W. is promoting the culture of bystander intervention where if you see something suspicious, say something or intervene to prevent any malicious behavior.

Both professionals stressed to stay with friends, or in a group, and to always have someone with you that you trust around to keep you safe.

Categories: Local News

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