ASHLAND, Ore. — President Obama is calling attention to a college sexual assault epidemic. Research shows it’s a crime victims often deal with in secrecy.
A White House report reveals 1 in 5 female students are assaulted, while only 1 in 8 student victims report it.
Local law enforcement says Southern Oregon University is not an exception to the nationwide trend. Since it happens on college campuses, police say social stigma serves as a barrier to reporting.
“We never prosecute somebody who comes and tells us, ‘I was drinking and I was underage’ or ‘I was using drugs that were illegal’, that have been victimized. So they can come in and be honest to us about that,” said Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness.
Ashland Police launched an online reporting system as well, with an anonymous option for anyone involved in sexual assault.