Rising sexual assault statistics

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Shepherdstown Police Department, Shepherdstown West Virginia

(THE PICKET)- Over a lifetime, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

The center states that one in five women and one in 16 men will be sexually assaulted while in college. This means that while you’re sitting in the library finishing your homework there is at least one person who has been assaulted sitting there with you.

Sexual assault doesn’t always come from strangers. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that eight out of 10 sexual assault victims knew the person who assaulted them and 1 in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Many assaults go unreported, studies show. The sexual violence center has found that on a college campus 90 percent of rape victims do not report their assault. The center also found that 63 percent of men on college campuses who self-reported acts qualifying as rape admitted to committing repeat rapes. According to the 2014 campus police report there were seven assaults reported at Shepherd University that year.

One way to fight rising sexual assault statistics is to get involved. On Sept. 6, 2016, The Shoe Project overtook Midway at Shepherd University. Shoes were spread across the lawn to represent the number of sexual assaults that Shepherd will experience based on statistics. Students had the chance to go through scenarios of interpersonal violence and identify strategies to use. They then would take a pair of shoes off the lawn to represent how they helped decrease the number of sexual assault victims.

At Shepherd there are several resources for students who have been victims of sexual assault. These include the campus police, the university health center, or the Sexual Assault Victim Advocates, a counseling resource for sexual assault victims. They make it their mission to help assault victims begin their recovery and continue on their academic path. Both the Sexual Assault Victim Advocates and the health center are confidential sources which means they cannot go to the police without your permission.

Haley George is a staff writer for The Picket. She can be reached at hgeorg01@rams.shepherd.edu.