It was about 11:30, the night of June 24. A CSUN student and her male companion were at an off-campus bar. While there, she was followed into the bathroom and sexually assaulted by her acquaintance. She continued to be followed on her walk home through campus where she was sexually assaulted again and authorities were contacted immediately.
Acquaintance rape may be more common than many students think. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of all reported rapes may be classified as acquaintance rape, according to CSUN Chief of Police Anne Glavin, who published the report “Acquaintance Rape: The Silent Epidemic.”
“It is known that rape is an under recorded crime on campus,” said Capt. Fred Fernandez of the CSUN police department, “A lot of the time the suspect is not your stereotypical strange man behind the bushes that runs after you, it’s your friends.”
The exact number of sexual assaults on campus is unknown due to infrequent reports to authorities. In 2010, four rapes were reported on-campus and one reported in the community, according to the Department of Police Services Security and Safety Report.
The victim contacted university police by activating an on-campus blue light, according to the police report.
“She took full advantage of the one that she found,” said Fernandez, “The purpose of the blue lights is exactly for this type of situation.”
The blue emergency lights located throughout campus, even in the parking structures and are directed immediately to CSUN’s 911 facility.
“Although the campus police are always here and we do try our hardest to provide the safest atmosphere possible, there is no guarantee,” said Fernandez, “People need to use good judgment.”
CSUN has a zero-tolerance policy concerning sexual assault of any kind and takes its duty seriously to provide a proactive educational environment. CSUN offers several resources for students who find themselves in hazardous situation on campus.
An anonymous sexual assault form is available online for victims or witnesses who wish to report a crime while remaining0 unidentified.
Other resources include confidential counseling services located in Bayramian Hall, room 250. More information is located on CSUN’s University Police website.
Another useful resource is the teaching of the Rape Aggression Defense System. R.A.D is a hands-on, self-defense program that teaches techniques for women to become more aware, and reduce risk.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” said Fernandez, “Nobody has the same judgment when we start to drink. Just because you know the person there is no guarantee that you’ll be OK.”