Timely Warning – Sexual Assault

By | October 27, 2017

TIMELY WARNING – On Campus Sexual Assault

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), 20 U.S.C. 1092 (f), the College of Charleston issues timely notices to notify the campus community of Clery Act crimes or other serious incidents that the College determines represent a serious and ongoing threat to the campus. The College may distribute timely notices using a variety of means, including emails, text messages, flyers, and website announcements posted on the Campus Safety website https://blogs.cofc.edu/publicsafety/category/community-notification/

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, the Department of Public Safety is informing the College of Charleston campus community of an on-campus assault.

Incident:  On Campus Sexual Assault

Date:  10/27/2017

Time:  2:00AM

Reported to:    College of Charleston Public Safety

Case # 2017-0477

Location:  Residence Hall on Saint Philip Street, north of Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC

Suspects’ status:  At Large

Incident description:  Female survivor was in her room at residence hall when she heard a knock on the door. She opened the door and the suspect forced his way inside and sexually assaulted her. Suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Suspect Description:   White male, 18 – 20 years of age, 5’08” – 5’10”, medium build, medium length brown hair. 

Important Message:  It is important to note that the victim/survivor is never the cause of the criminal offense.  The College does not tolerate this behavior.

Acquaintances, friends, or current/former romantic partners may assume that since they have had prior intimate encounters, they do not require consent for future sexual acts. Each sexual act requires verbal consent. Tactics used by a respondent known to the complainant may include intruding into the complainant’s personal space physically, though seemingly accidental touches or casual hugs or touches. The respondent may play on the complainant’s emotional vulnerability or empathy by “sharing” personal information or stories so that he/she lowers their defenses. The complainant may feel uneasy and uncomfortable, but the respondent assures them that nothing is wrong and continues their assault, ignoring requests to stop.

On college campuses, alcohol plays a large role in sexual assault. An attacker, often someone the person knows, may encourage or force a complainant to drink alcohol and become intoxicated or may take advantage of a complainant’s intoxication to forcibly assault him/her without consent. Respondents will seek out venues where intoxicated potential victims are likely to be, such as parties and bars. Some will put drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, or Rohypnol, into a person’s drink to incapacitate them. GHB, also known as Liquid Ecstasy, relaxes a person’s inhibitions, causing drowsiness, and may result in a loss of consciousness. Ketamine, also known as Special K, makes a person feel as if they are separated from their body and detached from reality. Rohypnol, or Roofies, causes a person to become drowsy, dizzy, and lack motor control and coordination. Respondents may also use pressure to try drugs as part of a social event before luring them away from the group.

Approximately 66% of sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances. To reduce the risk of similar crimes from happening, we recommend that everyone familiarize themselves with what constitutes sexual assault and, as a community, be vigilant in stopping it. For example:

  • Always seek consent. Stop your sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say “no”. Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is sexual assault. If either party is under the influence of alcohol, consent cannot be given.
  • The absence of a “no” is not a “yes.”
  • Avoid engaging in, supporting, or encouraging sexual harassment.
  • Do NOT use threats or coercion to engage in sexual activity.
  • Call for help if you witness a violent crime.
  • Do not take advantage of someone who is passed out, incoherent or otherwise incapacitated.

Public Safety is available to provide escorts on-campus and the Cougar Shuttle (888.960.2227) is available for off-campus transportation on the downtown peninsula seven nights a week from 11:00 P.M. – 3:00 A.M., during the fall and spring semesters.  For addition safety tips, visit http://publicsafety.cofc.edu/staying-safe/index.php.

Get Involved and Make a Difference:  The College encourages the prompt reporting of all crimes, On-campus contact Public Safety (843.953.5611), and off-campus (911).

Oftentimes, students are present when a crime is about to happen and bystander intervention is one method students may use to help prevent a crime from happening.  Learn how to develop this skill and safely intervene.  Contact the Office of Victim Services at 843.953.2273. 

Victim Assistance:  Enrolled College of Charleston students who become victims of serious crime are encouraged to get victim assistance by contacting the Office of Victim Services (843.953.2273). Comprehensive services, including assistance with missed classes/academic disruption, are available regardless of the incident location, or if the student elected to file an official report, or not.

If you have any information regarding the crime indicated above, please contact:

College of Charleston Campus Police
Emergencies: 953-5611
Non-Emergency: 953-5609 (Administrative Line)
Crime Action Line: (Anonymous Reporting) 953-4998
Silent Witness:  http://publicsafety.cofc.edu/contact-us/silent-witness/index.php

South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division                                                                                                                      Captain Ryan Neill
803-896-7133
4400 Broad River Drive                                                                                                                                                             Columbia, SC 29210                                                                                                                                     

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