Students take more caution on campus in wake of recent sexual violence

Despite preventive measures put in place to avoid sexual violence, students still feel hyper-aware when walking around certain areas.

Every student receives the emails from MU Police Department about crime notifications on campus. Some may choose to ignore them, while others may take increased caution when they receive those emails.

In the past couple of weeks there has been a steady rise in emails regarding sexual assault on campus. Notifications on Sept. 29 and Oct. 15 warned campus about sexual assault incidents around College Avenue Hall.

The emails contain advice from MUPD on how best to avoid a sexual assault that include trusting one’s instincts if a situation feels uncomfortable and always finding a safe ride home. But despite the large amount of programs that MU has in place to deal with these situations, the notifications still leave students uneasy.

“I think that it’s this constant idea of you’re walking on eggshells,” freshman Juliana Cole said. “You can choose to be afraid of it or you can choose to take precautions to make sure you’re safe and make sure you’re prepared, but I think there is that element of I always have to watch what I’m doing to make sure that I’m taking the right steps.”

MU has several available precautions for students on campus to feel safe regarding sexual assault. The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center has programs like Green Dot, Relationship Violence Awarness Month in October and National Sexual Assault Awareness month in April that allow students to be actively aware of the ways in which they can prevent personal violence.

MUPD also offers self defense classes like the Rape Aggression Defense class for women to feel more safe in their abilities to fight off an attacker.

Despite the many preventive measures put in place to avoid sexual assault, students still feel that there is more that can be done to address the issues.

“I think that Mizzou isn’t talking about it as much as they should and I think that they’re not bringing enough information and light to what’s going on,” sophomore Sami Sandt said. “I’ve heard of a lot more assaults and attacks on both men and women that have not been talked about in the last semester.”

With each email sent out, MU repeatedly states that sexual assault is never the fault of the victim, and within recent years the university has put many more measures in place to make sure this is known. Students are required to undergo Title IX training before the start of the school year, and MU expresses a zero tolerance policy for any sexual assault.

Despite programs put in place to prevent such instances, emails still persist and sexual violence remains prevalent.

“I think the scary part of it is that it’s always going to be an element of life, unfortunately,” Cole said. “I think that’s the biggest part is you could be in trouble and you don’t know about it or you could be fine, so it’s such a toss up of no matter what precautions you take, you just don’t know.”

Edited by Laura Evans | levans@themaneater.com

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