BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Investigators say they’re looking into claims of sexual assault at an Indiana University fraternity.
Reportedly, this latest case happened on Sept. 9 during a party at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. Investigators say they do believe that alcohol was involved.
“There is some level of acquaintance,” said IU Police Captain Craig Munroe. “I do not know what that is right now, but we do have an ongoing investigation,”
According to Munroe, investigators are waiting to officially interview the person who’s been accused, a process that has been delayed as they say that individual has sought legal representation.
Since Aug. 21, when classes began, authorities say they’ve received three reports of sexual assault on campus. Munroe said he couldn’t comment on whether or not that number was high for such a time period, but emphasized the importance of reporting such crimes.
“It does help us try to solve the problem, and without knowing what’s happening then it’s very difficult to try and solve the problem,” he said.
Leslie Fasone, IU’s director for the Office for Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy, says like many campuses across the country, IU has a problem with sexual assault. In 2014, a campus survey done at IU found that 17 percent of undergrad women participants and 6 percent of graduate women participants reported experiencing some form of sexual assault, as did 2 percent of undergrad men participants.
With recent initiatives that IU has launched, including a newly adopted policy by their athletic department and the newly formed Office for Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy, Fasone hopes the “culture” at IU can be changed.
“Our goal is to build on existing efforts each year as a means to change the culture and also as a means to engage the students in changing the culture since we feel they’re key to shaping this environment,” she said.
While the university has made strides, Fasone says the culture shift won’t be quick or easy.
“The issues that are components associated with a rape supportive culture, that doesn’t just start here. That’s something from attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, norms that start before coming to college,” Fasone said.
Both Munroe and Fasone stress that there are numerous resources available for sexual assault victims or anyone who wants to be part of eliminating the sexual assault problem on campus. Click here for more information.