Report sexual assault

Hiding the truth only helps perpetuate the crime.

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Carly Rorem, Writer

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To the men and women who have been sexually assaulted, I would like to stress the importance of reporting. Please do not think an incident was too minor to report. Some may feel it would be a waste of time for both yourself and Campus Safety, or fear that you would be seen as dramatic or overreacting, but these incidents are still worth reporting. You do not need to get physically injured in order to report an incident. No matter the scale, any sexual assault is wrong — know it is important and helpful for the police and Campus Safety when they are reported.

DO NOT FEAR VICTIM-BLAME

It is important for women to realize a perpetrator willing to commit any act of sexual assault has the potential to go on and commit something even worse. This is not a fact to take lightly, and no incident should ever be downplayed. Do not fear victim-blame. No one asks to be assaulted, so do not think that you did anything to have that done to you. Nothing justifies the sexual violation another person, which is why consent is critical. Campus Safety and the police cannot legally place any blame on you for the assault, nor would they. Biola University is blessed to have a chief and staff incredibly passionate about social justice, and even more passionate about the students here. Even with the sensitivity and helpfulness that the officers at Biola display it could still be hard or uncomfortable telling them what happened. If it is, maybe take a friend or ask someone for prayer and encouragement before you do go.

DO NOT FEAR THE CONTRACT

Another big fear that I have heard from students is our contract. Title IX mandates you will in no way be judged, expelled or punished if you have broken contract. Often times, sexual assaults can happen even after a few drinks, and that might be intimidating if that is your story. However, what has happened to you takes precedent over drinking, drugs or any other code violation. And while all of these reasons may keep someone from wanting to report sexual assault, perhaps the most powerful reason why someone would want to is for the sake of future prevention. The authorities should be aware of any situation so that if other individuals reported the information you provide, it could help accumulate data that might put the perpetrator away.

Please do not assume that your incident is their first or only assault. Perpetrators of sexual assault often commit serial offenses, and it would help the authorities protect us by having all the knowledge that you can provide them.That being said, reporting sexual assault is an extremely personal decision, but I encourage those who have been impacted by sexual assault to speak up and report.

 

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