In the past two weeks, three female Miami University students reported that they were sexually assaulted.
One student reported to MUPD that she had been sexually assaulted by a male student whom she knew in the early morning hours on Sunday, Feb. 5 in her room in McBride Hall.
Early on Friday, Feb. 10, a female student reported to the Oxford Police that she had woken up in a bed in an unknown residence without any memory of arriving there. She told police she had been Uptown earlier that night and had left with an unknown male.
According to an incident report from the Oxford Police, the female student had reported from the hospital that she had been sexually assaulted by three males at a local apartment. The incident report said that OPD officers searched the apartment, and suspects in the case have been identified.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 15, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital staff notified the university at 3:50 a.m. that a female student had reported to them that she had been sexually assaulted somewhere on Miami’s campus. The incident likely occurred on Sunday, Feb. 12, the hospital staff said.
MUPD and OPD are currently investigating these reports.
Students were notified of the reported assaults through Campus Crime Alerts — an SMS or email designed to alert students, faculty and staff of dangerous situations on or around campus.
Although these alerts notify students of some reports of sexual assaults, these notifications do not represent all of the sexual assaults which are reported, said Becca Getson, Miami’s sexual assault response coordinator. When students report assaults that occurred weeks or months prior or when students report sexual assaults which did not occur on campus or in the Oxford area, those reports are not included in the Campus Crime Alert notification system.
The number of reported sexual assaults over a period of time varies greatly, Getson said, but certain times of the year consistently show higher reporting. The first six weeks of the fall semester usually show an uptick in reports, but the first several weeks of the spring semester can see an increase in incidents, too, she said.
When a victim reports a sexual assault, whether it be to a university official, a family member or friend, Getson encourages them to always reiterate three things: “I believe you. It’s not your fault, and there are resources available.”
“It can be hard to believe that it can happen to you or to one of your friends,” Getson said.
Though many incidents of sexual assault still go unreported — only about 34 percent of sexual assaults are reported, according to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network — Getson’s goal is that every student who chooses to report has access to the resources she or he needs.
“We want to lower the barriers so that people feel comfortable reporting and have 100 percent access to resources,” Getson said.