Reporting Sexual Assault for UMD students

Reporting Sexual Assault for UMD students

The University of Minnesota Duluth Women’s Resource and Action Center hosted a mock rape trial on Tuesday, Apr. 18 as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The trial was purely educational and intended to portray an accurate representation of a real sexual assault case.

“Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape,” according to the United States Department of Justice.

 Photo by Anna Friedrichsen

Photo by Anna Friedrichsen

With over 100 people in attendance, St. Louis County Judge Jill Eichenwald presided over the mock rape trial based on a true case in which a female college student was sexually assaulted by a former boyfriend in an on-campus apartment.

The reality is that sexual assault is an unfortunate part of college for many students, both male and female.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an anti-sexual violence organization, reported that two out of three sexual assaults will go unreported. On average, only 20 percent of female students will report a sexual assault. RAINN also states that two out of three victims know their perpetrator.

According to UMD’s Campus Climate Survey results from Sep. 2016, UMD students who have experienced sexual assault have largely felt uncomfortable reporting it and/or were unsure of who to report it to other than the police.

A victim of sexual assault who attends UMD can report an incident to the following:

Police Department
Calling 9-1-1 is the quickest way to report an incident of sexual assault (or any other crime). Doing this will require a report of the incident and have the potential to involve further interviews and pressing charges.

“[T]here is no legal barrier to reporting an attack months later. Choosing not to report does not mean that a sexual assault is invalid, it simply means the survivor chose not to report. For those who do report, evidence is better preserved if collected recently after the event,” according to Break the Cycle, a non-profit organization advocating and educating young people about healthy relationships.

The UMD Police Department has accredited police officers licensed by the state of Minnesota that are always on duty. Officers are trained to handle sexual assault cases and can help guide victims to other services.

“[UMDPD] is responsible for policing and investigating crimes that occur on property owned, leased or operated by the University of Minnesota on the Duluth Campus,” according to their website.

UMDPD can be contacted at 218-726-7000 or by email at umdpd@d.umn.edu. They can be found on campus at 287 Darland Administration Building.

Women’s Resource and Action Center
The Women’s Resource and Action Center is an organization located within the Multicultural Center (266 Kirby Student Center) ran by students trained in handling sexual assault.

“[WRAC] seeks to provide all students support and encouragement on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus,” according to their website.

A student who has experienced sexual assault can stop by the WRAC office to get help and guidance in moving forward with their assault. This can include getting help reporting the incident, having a confidential source to talk to about the incident and/or providing the necessary information to contact a different source for more help.

Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault
[PAVSA] is a nonprofit rape crisis center in southern St. Louis County that helps area residents cope with the aftermath of sexual violence. Services include various options for people who have been victimized, ranging from immediate crisis intervention to long-term counseling … PAVSA services are free and confidential. All are welcome,” according to their website.

PAVSA is located at 32 East 1st Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802. A 24-hour crisis line can be reached at 218-726-1931.

Besides assisting victims of sexual assault, PAVSA also advocates for change and coordinates events relating to sexual assault awareness.

For more information on PAVSA, visit: http://www.pavsa.org/.

Office of Student Conduct
To submit an incident report to the Office of Student Conduct, visit: http://www.d.umn.edu/conduct/filing_an_incident_report.html.

Sexual assault is a violation of the University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code, Section VI., Subdivision 8 (Sexual Assault). An allegation of sexual assault is a serious violation. Should the complainant choose to file a report (whether or not he/she presses criminal charges), an investigation will be conducted by the UMD Title IX Investigator, University police, or local law enforcement. The University can pursue disciplinary action, even if criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute,” according to their website.

For more information and further assistance, contact 218-726-7255, conduct@d.umn.edu or stop by 245 Kirby Plaza.

For more information on how UMD responds to sexual assault, visit: http://d.umn.edu/sexual-assault/.

Other Sources of Help
Health Services offers free and confidential counseling for UMD students. To make an appointment, call 218-726-7913.

Birch Tree Center is a community and regional collaboration providing mobile crisis services and residential crisis stabilization to adults experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency,” according to their website.

The Birch Tree Center crisis line can be reached at 218-623-1800.

Safewalk is a service provided by Alpha Delta and Gamma Sigma Sigma that offers company walking anywhere within a 2-mile radius of campus. The service is offered from Sunday’s through Thursday’s from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Contact Safewalk at 218-726-6100 or stop by the Greek Office in Kirby Student Center for assistance.

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Trained professionals and advocates on campus and in the Duluth community are available at all times for help in reporting and/or talking about an incident of sexual assault.

For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Sebastian Nemex: Folx

Community members help save UMD's Land Lab

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