SFA officials claim procedures in place to prevent campus sex assaults

SFA officials claim procedures in place to prevent campus sex assaults
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: CNN
Source: CNN
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - With sexual assault at the center of national debate, it has many wondering what campuses can do to prevent this from happening to them,

"Well, I think it's very important to even talk about things like that," said Quinn Runnels, the campus advocate for the Family Crisis Center

"It's about speaking against things like sex being a joke." Runnels said. "A lot of people are growing up seeing these things on TV and thinking it's okay and it's not."

College campuses can be a hotbed for drinking, partying, and illicit behavior, but experts said the focus on preventing assault shouldn't be waiting to provide resources to someone after they're attacked,

"It shouldn't be like that," Runnels said. "It should be we're teaching the potential perpetrator, 'Hey this is what consent is. This is what it looks like.'"

Prevention prior to an assault means campuses must work together to ensure all students are given proper education.

"We always take any allegation seriously of sexual assault. We ask witnesses to determine if they don't remember giving consent," said Officer Amanda Kennedy, seargent in Criminal Investigations for SFA Police Department.

"Because if they do not give that person consent, then yes, that is sexual assault," she said.

The CDC has released startling statistics stating that although one in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses, not even half of those victims feel comfortable reporting their case to police.

"That statistic is believable, honestly I would think it would be off because of the girls that don't report," Runnels said. "I wouldn't be surprised if that number is even scarier."

It's an issue that's been on the minds of officials and administration in the largest college campus in the region but Robert Hill, athletic director at SFA, said there are resources in place

"We do life skill training, basically choose a topic and stay with it," Hill said. "This year there will be emphasis on sexual violence and how men and women should behave especially on a college campus."

Brock Turner, who was convicted of three felony rape charges, was facing up to 18 years in prison, but instead on June 2 he was given six months county jail, leaving the public horrified.

"If I had been sexually assaulted by an un-athletic guy from a community college, what would his sentence be?" the victim read aloud in a powerful impact statement in court.

This is the double standard that SFA wants the community to know is not tolerated on their campus,

"To me, if the suspect is an athlete I'm going to do my investigation the way that I'm supposed to as a law enforcement officer," Kennedy said.

This perspective is reiterated from the athletic department as well,

"We make sure it's on top of our list of how men should treat women and vice versa that's where we talk about it openly and then when something happens we handle it appropriately," Hill said.

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