KSU police offer tips to stay safe on campus

Kiera Manion-Fischer

After three reported rapes near the University of Akron during the fall semester, sexual assault prevention has come into focus.

“College-age people are in the age range where both victims and perpetrators often fall,” said Alice Ickes, Kent State crime prevention officer.

Most sexual assault cases are acquaintance rapes. According to the Campus Sexual Assault Study from the National Institute of Justice, on college campuses the perpetrators of more than 40 percent of female rapes are a friend or classmate of the victims.

Ickes said victims often only casually know the one committing the assault, not even always knowing the attacker’s first name.

“It’s likely to be someone they have class with,” she said.

It is important for students to be aware of their surroundings, Ickes said.

“People who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs are many times targeted for victimization,” she said.

Campus security manager Brian Hellwig recommended that students avoid walking home alone late at night. He said the campus escort service is only used three or four times an evening. It is available from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., seven days a week.

“Go out with a buddy or two and come home with the same people,” Ickes said.

If a student is sexually assaulted, the first thing Ickes said to do is contact the police and get prompt medical attention.


• Fifty-nine percent of all sexual assaults in the U.S. are unreported.

• Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

• One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men.

• In 2005-2006, there were an average annual 232,010 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

• About 44 percent of rape victims are under age 18, and 80 percent are under age 30.

• Since 1993, rape/sexual assault has fallen by over 60 percent.

Sources: 2006 National Crime Victimization Survey from the U.S. Department of Justice; Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

QuJané Gordon, outreach specialist at Townhall II in Portage County said the emergency room personnel can perform a rape exam and collect evidence for law enforcement.

“Most of the evidence will be present and still available for prosecution,” she said.

Gordon said victims may request a free victims’ advocate, who will provide information and help victims at their request. She said in an ideal world, everyone would report a sexual assault, but when someone chooses not to, the advocate must respect that decision.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].