USM offers help for victims of sexual assault - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

USM offers help for victims of sexual assault

Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The sexual assault case at Stanford University is raising concerns about how universities and colleges handle sexual assault cases.

Southern Miss said it is a priority to protect victims.

Detective Captain Rusty Keyes with the University Police Department said a sexual assault report starts with the victim telling someone of authority about the incident.

“You’ve got to tell the person that you trust,” Keyes said. “Your confidant. It may be an adviser, it may be a faculty member, may be a resident's life member.”  

A student then fills out a report that is sent to university police.

Keyes said the university has seen an increase in the number of rapes reported on campus in the past few years.

“In ‘12, ‘13, ‘14 those numbers you may see zero or you may see one,” Keyes said. “In 2015, we had four rapes reported here on campus. Those have been investigated and cleared.”

He said more victims are reporting cases due to the increasing amount of resources and programs available to students. University Police often refer students to university counseling.

“We try to ask them and let them decide what they need so it might be weekly counseling session, it might be that they need more of a victim advocate who would kind of help them through the process of Title IX or through the court process if they’ve decided to press charges,” said Deena Crawford, director of Student Counseling Services.

USM Student Government Association is also taking a stand against sexual assault and misconduct with a new campaign.

“The ‘It’s On Us Campaign’ is geared at bystander awareness and intervention. It takes the responsibility off the victims and puts it on us as a campus,” Campaign Director Carlee Welch-Dick said.

The campaign, created by the White House, came to the university in 2014.

Students help their peers understand what constitutes as sexual assault and how to seek help.

“There are so many cases that probably go unreported simply because people don’t understand that that's assault and that needs to be reported,” Welch-Dick said.

Click here for a list of resources.

Copyright 2016 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • JCJC softball enters 2018 with high expectations

    JCJC softball enters 2018 with high expectations

  • JCJC softball enters 2018 with high expectations

    JCJC softball enters 2018 with high expectations

    Saturday, January 20 2018 12:10 AM EST2018-01-20 05:10:08 GMT
    JCJC softball opens the season on February 3. Courtesy: WDAMJCJC softball opens the season on February 3. Courtesy: WDAM

    Following a school-record 55 wins and run that ended in an 8-7 loss in the NJCAA national championship, Jones County Junior College softball is eager to open the 2018 season on February 3. Coming that close to the school’s first national title serves as motivation enough for the Lady Bobcats. Regardless, expectations are always high for coach Chris Robinson’s teams – JCJC is a combined 105-12 the last two seasons.

    More >>

    Following a school-record 55 wins and run that ended in an 8-7 loss in the NJCAA national championship, Jones County Junior College softball is eager to open the 2018 season on February 3. Coming that close to the school’s first national title serves as motivation enough for the Lady Bobcats. Regardless, expectations are always high for coach Chris Robinson’s teams – JCJC is a combined 105-12 the last two seasons.

    More >>
  • No. 24 Carey takes 82-80 thriller at No. 11 Faulkner U.

    No. 24 Carey takes 82-80 thriller at No. 11 Faulkner U.

Powered by Frankly