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Rate of campus assaults ‘staggering,’ Meehan says

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A joint city-suburban Philadelphia group is sending information to Washington on some staggering college campus crime numbers and how to help those who could be a victim for life.

Nearly 20 percent of women attending college are sexually assaulted or victims of an attempted assault, yet only between 5 and 12 percent of them report the attacks.

U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Delaware, convened regional experts on campus safety last month to come up with policy recommendations on how to turn those statistics around.

“That gap is staggering,” he said. “That amount of victims is eye-opening.  We have a responsibility to work collaboratively to assure that we not only prevent future sexual assault in an environment like a college setting, but we are able to respond more effectively to those victims.”

Many women are under the influence when the attacks occur, he said,  resulting in “incapacitated assault.”

“Incapacitated assault means that there has been alcohol, drugs, some other kind of agent that may have influenced the ability of parties to be appropriately responsive,” Meehan said Monday.

The group worked on methods to increase reporting of the assaults and ways of taking care of victims.

Joyce Dale of Delaware County Women Against Rape says they came up with some action items.

“All students should know that sexual harassment and sexual assault will not be tolerated on college campuses, and that appropriate bystander interventions should be encouraged,” she said. during a news conference to discuss the group’s work. “Students should be encouraged to come forward if victimized and be clearly informed of their options to do so.”

Meehan said he is sending the group’s report for use by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual AssaultRead more at http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20140414_Create_safer_campuses.html#c1A3YvmH7WwiHPmu.99
the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual AssaultRead more at http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20140414_Create_safer_campuses.html#c1A3YvmH7WwiHPmu.99
e White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20140414_Create_safer_campuses.html#c1A3YvmH7WwiHPmu.99

 

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