Programs hope to reduce college sexual assaults


Photo courtesy of Michelle Ross

First-year women are most at risk for sexual assault on a college campus.

They tend to have less experience being in environments with heavy drinking and so do not know how to drink safely, or take measures to protect themselves from their drunk fellow party-goers, said TCU police Detective Robert Rangel.

In 2015, the latest statistics available, 12 rapes were reported on TCU’s campus. In most of these cases, the woman knew her assailant.

“I would say 90 percent or more is acquaintances,” said Darron Turner,TCU’s Chief Inclusion Officer and Title IX Coordinator. Turner added that he suspects there are more cases than reported.

“I don’t fool myself into thinking we are getting 100 percent of cases reported to us,” he said.

Nationally, about  “11% of college women who experience rape report it to the police,” according to One In Four USA, a non-profit that is trying to prevent rape by educating men and women about warning signs and risky behavior.

Like Rangel, One In Four USA cites free-flowing alcohol as a driving cause of sexual assault on college campuses.

In “72-81% of cases in which a male rapes a female college student, the female is intoxicated,”  according to One In Four USA.

Rangel said he could not recall the last time that there was an sexual assault report on campus that did not involve alcohol.

One In Four USA warns that sorority women face a high risk of assault, noting “women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women.”

The group cited two studies that suggest “fraternity men are three times more likely to commit sexual assault than other college men.”

TCU has implemented a variety of safety measures to help students protect themselves from sexual assault and be aware of behaviors that can lead to assault.

The university offers an online bystander intervention training that teaches students the importance of intervening when they see someone who appears to be in a sexually threatening situation.

TCU also operates Froggie Five-O, a ride service from 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. for students who don’t want to walk alone in the dark. All incoming first-year students are required to complete an alcohol and drug education program.

The university also offers self-defense classes.

Rangel said TCU is committed to preventing sexual assault on campus.

“Everyone works together to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” he said.