By Jessica Willner
SC Staff Writer
In light of the recent student abduction and other incidents occurring around campus, ESU has implemented programs to support victims and to attempt to prevent new events from happening.
A female ESU student who was walking back to her dorm room from a nearby house was abducted and assaulted by two hooded males.
The student was forced into a red sedan that took her to an unknown location. She was able to escape back to campus after being assaulted again.
The incident occurred on South Green Street around 11:15 PM on October 24 and was not reported until 10 days later.
Mallory Snook, a freshman, says, “I feel safe on campus during the day but at night, if I walk in certain areas, I get more cautious. I stay safe by walking with someone or a group of people and always think of ways I can protect myself with the things I have on me if something were to happen.”
Along with staying in a group, the University Police recommend traveling off campus in a vehicle rather than on foot.
Students can also take advantage of a safe escort on campus from police staff by calling 570-422-3064.
The University Police Department is currently offering a program that includes three self-defense training classes for women. R.A.D., or Rape Aggression Defense System, is a program of “realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The program’s objective is to increase awareness and focus on prevention through “hands-on defense training.”
In addition to self-defense training, ESU is beginning a support group during the spring semester for female survivors of sexual assault, rape and/or relationship abuse.
The mission of the group is to “provide a safe, non-threatening environment in which women can speak about their experiences, as well as explore and vent feelings.”
The meetings will be held Monday nights at 7 PM two times per month during the semester. The group will meet in the V.O.I.C.E. center located near the entrance of the Hemlock suites.
With the crime rates high around campus, students have become fearful and cautious, especially at night. However, they are responding positively to these programs and think that they will provide support for victims and defense mechanisms for potential victims.
Victoria Malcervelli, a junior, says, “I’m glad we have a female support group. I think it’s the best response so far, especially knowing that the attacks aren’t stopping.”
However, Victoria also feels that the victims are being put to blame more than the attackers. She says, “I do not want to be alone, walking to my car, knowing that if anything happens to me, it will be ‘my fault’.”
The ESU community may begin to feel a little more secure as students become equipped with important survival techniques and as victims receive emotional support.
The University Police are available every day of the year around the clock. Their emergency number is (570) 422-2000.
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