Campus police combat sexual assault

Brad Stout, Editor-in-Chief

Even in more rural communities, sexual assaults can still occur on college campuses. According to Missouri Southern’s 2013 Crime Index, which was released by the University Police Department (UPD) Sept. 9 in accordance with Clery and Title IX, there were a total of four forcible sex offenses reported on campus last year.

As defined in Missouri Southern’s Sexual Assault Policy, a forcible sex offence is “the involvement in any sexual act with another person, without the consent of the other person, in which there is force which overcomes reasonable resistance; or the threat of force, expressed or implied; or the use of duress or deception.”

To help prevent sexual assaults on campus, Ken Kennedy, University Police Chief, teaches a Rape Aggression Defense course each semester, which is designed for women only and teaches real-life self defense tactics. In addition to this, UPD is also currently encouraging “bystander intervention,” which asks students, faculty and staff to responsibly take action and intervene whenever they witness an incident.

Anyone who finds him or herself the victim of sexual assault is also encouraged to seek out Missouri Southern’s Academic, Counseling and Testing Services (ACTS), which provides counseling services to Missouri Southern students.

“We do provide personal counseling and support,” said Faustina Abrahams, first year advising coordinator with ACTS. “Basically, we help [victims] understand what’s going on, how to manage the anguish and mental health during this time, and — if they want to press charges — how to prepare themselves for … legal battles, and how they can manage themselves.”