Your safety and wellness are my highest priority. In the past few days, two Ohio State women students have reported that they were victims of sexual assault, in unrelated incidents. These crimes are terrible violations of the young women who were attacked, and they are reminders that no place is completely exempt from danger, even our own familiar buildings and grounds. I am writing to raise your awareness of the situation and inform you about the resources available to help.
Most sexual assaults involve people who are known to each other. A person who persists without having consent is committing a very serious crime. Either person being intoxicated is not an excuse for unwanted sex, and may, in fact, make the aggressor more liable, as sexual contact with a person who is unable to give informed consent is illegal and may be prosecuted as rape.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to stay alert and trust your instincts. If you must be out alone after dark, please use the Student Escort Service, which can be reached at *********. Why not program that into your cell phone now? I think everyone understands that too much alcohol can affect your ability to make good decisions. Listening to music through ear buds or talking on a cell phone while walking can also prevent you from hearing or seeing danger signs.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, whether by someone you know or a stranger, I urge you very strongly to report it as soon as possible. This is important for your own health and recovery and also will improve the chances that the perpetrator can be caught and prosecuted. You can report it wherever you feel most comfortable. The OSU Police Division, our residence hall staff, Counseling and Consultation Service, the Student Wellness Center, Student Health Services, Student Judicial Affairs, and other Student Life offices are all able to help you. The Sexual Violence Education and Support unit in the Student Wellness Center has trained advocates and a number of support services for survivors of sexual assault.
The OSU Police issue Crime Alerts when there has been a crime reported that indicates that there may be ongoing danger to the university community. To receive these alerts by e-mail, you must sign up here.
Your safety is my highest concern, and I and the entire staff of the Office of Student Life are here to help. Please feel free to contact us at any time. I, unfortunately, must be away from campus a great deal of the time in the next few weeks, but Dr. Martha Garland is backing me up and filling in as acting vice president for student life. You can reach her through my office.
Please take care of yourselves and look out for each other.
Vice President for Student Life