One in four women in college today has been the victim of rape and nearly 90 percent of them knew their assailants, according to U.S Department of Justice study. College women are also most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman and sophomore years.
In the past month, there have been several high-profile crimes committed against women on college campuses. In the national spotlight, a 24-year-old graduate student from Yale University was murdered. Her body was found Sept. 13 stuffed behind a basement wall in a high-security school lab.
Closer to home, an 18-year-old woman from the University of Texas at Tyler was kidnapped on Sept. 13. The victim escaped with non-life threatening injuries, and the attacker was arrested and his bond was set at $750,000.
In Hillsboro at Hill College, three basketball players are facing charges in connection with an alleged on-campus rape of a fellow student on Sept. 16.
Police said alcohol was a factor in the incident. The victim was sent to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination, and also for physical and psychological treatment.
Alcohol use at the time of the attack was found to be one of the four strongest predictors of a college woman being sexually assaulted, according to the Department of Justice study.
“We talk about safety during freshmen orientation,” said Chief of Campus Safety Randy Melton, “We talk about safety to our dorm students also.”
Violence against women isn’t limited to sexual assault or kidnapping, it could also include stalking or dating violence.