Staff Ed: Second recent sexual battery rattles students
By THE BLUE AND GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, around 7:25 pm, a UMW student reported that she was sexually battered in front of the University Center. This report follows the incident that occured on Sep. 22, 2018 on Sunken Road. It is the second sexual battery that the student body has been notified of this semester. The most recent incident occurred during one of UMW’s new homecoming events, Mary Rock, which was happening out on Ball Circle.
The proximity of this most recent sexual battery to the center of campus in an area surrounded by lights makes this incident especially troubling. The university has a responsibility to make sure all students on campus feel safe. It is unacceptable for students to be afraid to walk around their campus especially while events are going on. While UMW is an open campus, students should be assured that they are protected from these assaults on campus.
The Rave Guardian App is available to assist anyone who feels unsafe walking around campus, and the UMW police also offer several other safety options. One is Eagle Patrol which operates safety escorts during the academic year each night from 6pm or 9pm to 1am depending on the night. You can also request a safety escort by contacting the University Police by calling 540-654-1025 or 540-654-1129 (evenings only), or by using one of the emergency Blue Light systems on campus.
It is never the fault of the sexually assaulted. There are numerous resources offered on and off campus for those who have been assaulted. The Talley Center, UMW Office of Human Resources, UMW Title IX Coordinator and the Fredericksburg Area Victim/Witness Assistance Program all are options. You can find contact information on their individual websites.
Here is a QR code for those who would like to use the Rave Guardian app, just open your camera and it will take you to their website.