U of I employee assaulted on campus

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois Police Department is warning students to be vigilant following a sexual assault that happened on campus over the weekend.

Officials said the assault happened either Friday or Saturday, which they were made aware of on Monday by a Campus Security Authority. The victim reported that the offender was someone they knew and that they were at an unspecified fraternity house when they were assaulted.

Several other instances of sexual assault have been reported to U of I Police throughout the academic year, including two earlier this year and three in October. One of those assaults happened at a dorm hall and another happened at a fraternity house.

Officials explained that reports on sexual assaults are released with limited details in order to prevent the victim from being identified. Campus Security Authority reports, they also said, are not made for the purpose of starting a police investigation.

Officials added that the purpose of their alert was to make others aware and enable them to take actions that ensure their safety and prevent similar incidents. They offered several tips on how to avoid, prevent and report sexual misconduct and other crime:

  • If you notice a situation that seems unsafe, intervene is if it safe to do so or call for assistance.
  • It is always the victim’s decision to report crime, but reporting is one of the most effective actions to prevent crime in the future. There are several reporting options offered by the university, community groups and local law enforcement.
  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure that any sexual act has consent from your partner, which is an active process and not the absence of the word “no.” Don’t assume you know what another person wants.
  • Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do. “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason.
  • No one can completely protect themselves from becoming a victim of any crime, but walking in groups, avoiding dark areas and trusting one’s instincts reduces the risk. If a situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • Call police immediately if suspicious activity is observed.

Anyone who is concerned about themselves or a friend as a result of the reported sexual assault can find help from the Student Assistance Center. SAC staff are available on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at 217-333-0050. The same number connects to the Emergency Dean Program, which provides a university administrator on-call to assist in health or safety emergency situations that occur after business hours and require an immediate response.

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