Local News

NCSU trying to raise awareness of campus sex assault

Posted August 23

— The number of sex offenses reported at North Carolina State University has more than doubled since 2014, but victim advocates say it is still underreported.

N.C. State police and the Wake County District Attorney's Office continue to investigate three alleged sexual assaults at a July 21 party in an apartment at the Wolf Village complex on campus. Records show two female students say they were raped – one after being given alcohol – and a third said she was a victim of sexual battery.

Five freshmen football players who were at the party – one of them lived in the apartment – were disciplined Tuesday for violating the university's code of conduct because underage drinking and illegal drug use occurred.

Police have not said the football players are suspects in the sex assaults.

"Typical college age students are at a high risk group for experiencing sexual assault," said Stephanie Francis, director of education, engagement and prevention for InterAct, which provides support services to assault victims.

Beginning this year, N.C. State students faculty and staff are required to complete an online training course that focuses on prevention and awareness of rape, dating violence and sex assault.

"When things are happening and high-profile situations are happening in the media, that is potentially an opportunity for us to have more conversations about this issue," Francis said.

But when the incidents involve student-athletes – either directly or indirectly – the conversation can shift to victim-blaming, she said.

"If there are situations of sexual assault, there is a victim or survivor who is impacted by that, and I think we want to be mindful as community that we are respecting that," she said.


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