Establish a Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence Crisis Center on Campus
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According to The Sexual Victimization of College Women report by the US Department of Justice, approximately 5 percent of college women experience a completed or attempted rape in a calendar year, while 20 percent experience a completed or attempted rape during a five year college career. According to Purdue’s website, only 3 rapes were reported to the Purdue police within the last calendar cycle. While some may view this as clear evidence for why these services are not needed on campus, in fact, this is clear evidence that these services are needed. If it is known that approximately five percent of college women experience a completed or attempted rape in a calendar year, and there are approximately 16,700 female students enrolled at Purdue University, then it can be expected that approximately 830 women on Purdue’s campus are affected by a rape or attempted rape each calendar year. Of course, this number neglects to include men, transgender and non-binary individuals, and any individuals affected by stalking or relationship violence.
While Purdue University leads the way among Big Ten universities in developing new technologies and producing modern engineering feats, the University falls woefully behind other universities in addressing a basic need of their constituents. Other Big Ten universities, like the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin, offer myriad services to sexual assault survivors including, but not limited to, a dedicated space for receiving safe and confidential support, helplines, legal advocates, support groups, community awareness raising events, and assistance with filing complaints to the proper university authorities. In contrast, victim services at Purdue are decentralized—students are directed to contact the Title IX coordinator (located in Young Hall), the Student Assistance Center (located across campus in Schleman Hall), or the Crisis Center at Mental Health America, which is not even located on-campus. The University directs victims to use the crisis hotline (765-495-HELP) for immediate support. This hotline, however, is not a Purdue hotline but is, instead, connected to the Crisis Center, about 3 miles away from most on-campus residences. While we recognize and value the work of the Crisis Center, we contend that a centralized, on-campus location for survivors’ services and support arising from a partnership with the Crisis Center and existing services would better serve the Purdue community.
In short, we are calling on Purdue University to establish an institutional center at Purdue University that is equipped with well-trained staff and appropriate resources to assist Purdue community members with issues of sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence, and related issues.
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