This week, a student from John Carroll University submitted a letter to the editor to The Carroll News, in which she stated she was a victim of sexual assault. She later filed a report with the John Carroll University Police Department and has also been working with the Violence Prevention and Action Center (VPAC) since the incident. Due to The Carroll News’ protocol, her name was not disclosed in her letter to the editor.
In her letter, she noted her complicated feelings about the reported incident. She directed part of her letter to possible victims of sexual assault, urging them to reach out to support services. It is strongly recommended victims utilize these services offered on campus. Although using campus resources is not mandatory, students should not feel they have to face these situations alone.
According to Dean of Students Sherri Crahen, there are a variety of campus services available to help victims cope with emotional instability, process the situation and potentially protect themselves and others from future occurrences. In particular, Crahen suggested JCUPD, VPAC and the Bystander Intervention training. These services are essential because they not only help the immediate victim, but also empower others to stand up against sexual violence.
Furthermore, it is important to report occurrences to the local police department in order to hold the aggressor accountable. It is understood that it can be difficult to report such a personal experience. However, such a report might ultimately protect other possible victims and be the voice for those who feel silenced.
In conclusion, it is not only important to report sexual violence, but it is also brave. By overcoming personal inhibitions, inappropriate social actions can decrease, and those affected will find solace among conversation. A situation as complicated as sexual violence must not be taken lightly; therefore students are encouraged to speak out.