MU Notifies Students of Alleged Sexual Assault

FromPress Release

A female reported an alleged sexual assault by a male acquaintance in the South Freshman Residence Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

This was reported by a friend of the alleged victim. The incident allegedly occurred early Saturday morning April 2. At this time, the alleged victim does not wish to pursue charges and has not identified the alleged assailant.

We do not have information that suggests an immediate threat of assault for members of the campus community, but students are asked to always be cautious and to take the steps below to help prevent sexual assault by an acquaintance.

If you have information you wish to share with regard to this alleged assault or if you wish to report any incidents or emergencies on campus, contact the Marshall University Police Department at (304) 696-4357. Off campus, call 911.

(Editor's Note: A "report" of a crime does not necessarily mean that a specific type of statutory violation has occurred. Law enforcement must investigate in order to gather additional information concerning the report. The Clary Act appears to require that institutions of higher learning issue a warning at the time of any report of a potential sexual assault. Similar investigative steps occur with any alleged incident.)


(Information provided by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services,www.fris.org)

Reducing your risk of acquaintance rape

If someone is pressuring you to have sex when you don't want to,

• say "no" clearly and forcefully.

• move away from the person.

• make an excuse to get out of the room – "I have to go to the bathroom." – then leave or call for help.

• fight back if you feel you can.

• yell loudly for help. Don't be afraid to yell "rape"!

• get away as soon as you can.

Remember, sex without consent is rape, whether the offender is a stranger or someone you know.

Use Caution

• Let someone know where you are going.

• Do not go off alone with someone you do not know well or who makes you feel uncomfortable.

• Meet at a public place.

• Trust your instincts; if it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.

• Be cautious in new relationships. Go out with a group of friends until you know that person better.

Stay Alert

• Pay attention to your suroundings. Avoid isolated places.

• Know the effects of drugs and alcohol. Be aware of what you are drinking and how much you are drinking. In reported rapes, at least 75 % of males and 55 % of females had been drinking or taking drugs.

• Do not leave beverages unattended or accept drinks from anyone you don't know well or trust.

Stay in Charge

• Staying in charge means saying what you want and knowing what you are doing.

• Always carry a cell phone and money to make a call. Call your family or a trusted friend to come get you if you feel unsafe. Remember, it is better to get into trouble for being somewhere you shouldn't be than to be raped.

Set Limits

• Communicate your limits clearly and directly. Insist on being treated with respect.

Reducing the risk of being the victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault:

• Don't drink beverages that you did not open yourself.

• Don't share or exchange drinks with anyone.

• Don't take a drink from a punch bowl.

• Don't drink from a container that is being passed around.

• If someone offers you a drink at the bar/club or at a party, accompany the person to get your drink, watch the drink being poured and carry the drink yourself.

• Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom or making a phone call.

• If you leave your drink unattended, discard it.

• Don't drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance (e.g. salty taste, excessive foam, unexplained residue).

• Don't mix different types of alcoholic beverages.

• Don't mix drugs and alcohol.

• Limit alcohol consumption so you are better able to assess your surroundings, especially if you are in a group setting or with someone you do not know well or trust.

• When drinking alcohol in social settings, make arrangements with a  friend to leave together.

Reducing your risk for stranger rape:

• Use dead bolts locks on your doors.

• Make sure sliding glass doors and windows are locked.

• Lock your car doors when travelling.

• Don't leave mail on the seat of your car disclosing your home address.

• Avoid hitchhiking  and picking up hitchhikers.

• If you are followed, do not drive home. Drive to a busy lighted area or law enforcement agency.

• Carry a cellular phone in your car.

• Yell to attract attention if you need help.

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