September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month

September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month

From St. Thomas' Public Safety

September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, which is sponsored by Security on Campus Inc., a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent violence, substance abuse and other crimes in college and university campus communities across the United States, and to compassionately assist the victims of these crimes.

NCSAM also focuses attention on a wider range of safety issues, such as fire safety, online safety, vehicle safety, etc., to remind community members of the many issues that still potentially impact them.

Programming during the month is directed by Public Safety Crime Prevention Lead Officer Wells Farnham and student Rebecca Lucast, and will include informational bulletins, info tables, a poster series and other events.

If you have questions, please call Farnham, (651) 962-5105.

First safety bulletin: sexual assault

Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the country, but unfortunately it is a common crime. Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape and 10 percent of sexual assault victims are men; however, only about 20 percent of victims will ever report the crime to law enforcement.

Studies of college campuses indicate that about one in four college women will be the victim of attempted or completed sexual assault, and that a majority of those assaults are attempted in the first six weeks of the victim's first year of college. Most assaults are planned ahead of time and 70 percent of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.

Additionally, in Minnesota a person who is legally intoxicated is not able to give consent to engage in sexual acts. Sometimes perpetrators may add something to the victim's drink to incapacitate them. Many drugs have been used for this purpose, and some of the more common are Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine; however, alcohol remains the most common substance used to subdue victims of sexual assault.

Information from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Minnesota Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.