KSU officials offer advice after alleged sexual assault

Christina Stavale

Students received a FlashLine message yesterday afternoon alerting them of a

possible sexual assault in Kent.

The e-mail came after Kent State police received information from a third party that a woman was assaulted early yesterday morning in a residential building on or near campus. At this time, the woman does not wish to file a police report.

Only one in five women report their rapes to police, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey.

Staci, a counselor at the Battered Women’s Shelter in Akron who could not give her last name because of the nature of her job, said people choose not to report because of the situation’s aftermath.

“There’s a lot to deal with,” she said. “The person may feel like it’s their own fault, even if it’s not.”

In the case of sexual assault, police dispatcher Andy Watkins suggested reporting the incident as soon as possible.

“As soon as it happens, report it,” he said. “While it’s still fresh, there’s more of a chance we can get an accurate


Watkins said that while the best bet to avoid sexual assault is to walk with friends, people should use campus security’s escort service if walking alone.

Campus security manager Brian Hellwig said the service is probably underused, as they only receive one or two requests a night.

Watkins said no place is better than another to walk alone.

“You really can’t pick where something is going to happen,” he said. “People should be aware of their surroundings and have at least one sober person with them. When people are drunk, they are easily taken advantage of.”

National statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that using or abusing substances such as alcohol can put a person at a higher risk for sexual assault.

When a person is sexually assaulted, Staci said it is best for him or her to get counseling and contact a parent, guardian or friend.

“We strongly suggest if it is rape, that they go directly to the hospital,” she said.

She added that St. Thomas Hospital in Akron offers free examinations to rape victims.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].