Crime Watch 8

IU Kokomo raises awareness of sexual assaults

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Campus leaders at Indiana University Kokomo are spreading an “It’s On Us” message to stop sexual assaults.

The message is being heard across college campuses nationwide.

IU Kokomo officials say they’ve never received a report of a sexual assault on campus. But they also say these crimes are severely underreported.

“We feel like its really important in the beginning of the school year to give those resources to our students,” said Sarah Sarber, the Dean of Students at IU Kokomo

Lining the sidewalks are red flags symbolizing the warning signs of campus sexual assaults.

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Students are also being asked to sign a pledge.

It asks students to stand up against sexual assaults and help those who’ve been victimized.

“It’s something that really gets under-looked on campus and throughout the country,” said Travis Miller, a student who took the pledge Monday morning.

A report out Monday by the Association of American Universities shows 23 percent of female undergraduates reported being sexually assaulted in their first 4 years of college.

At Purdue University the figure is one in five women, but that same report shows less than 28 percent of them reported it.

They say the issue on college campuses is the presence of alcohol as about half of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol or other substances.

“Women who’ve been drinking don’t necessarily feel empowered to make the report that they have been sexually assaulted because they feel more responsible for the act taking place,” Rosalyn Davis, a professor at IU Kokomo, who will hold a discussion on alcohol and sexual assaults this week.

“There’s people that I’ve talked to and known that definitely could use resources and things that I think would help them in situations like this,” said Felicia Freeman, another student who took the pledge.

IU Kokomo and many other colleges across the state have confidential counselors for students to report, and to get treatment for, sexual assaults.