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New policies created to protect students
By Ashley Cole News Editor
October 18, 2012
The Amnesty Policy states that victims and witnesses or bystanders of crime will be offered amnesty from policy violations related to the incident.
For instance, if someone is sexually assaulted at a party where they were drinking underage and they report it to the police, there won't be any disciplinary actions for the underage drinking.
"We've found that if someone has been drinking underage and they have been sexually assaulted they may not want to come forward because they fear there would be other penalties for the drinking," counselor Lauren Rodefeld said.
The Good Samaritan Policy is similar to the Amnesty Policy in that police will offer limited immunity to students who offer help to someone in need.
Rodefeld noted that sexual assaults are one of the most unreported crimes, and she hopes these policies will change that.
Rodefeld is part of the Interpersonal Violence/Sexual Assault Response Team (IV-SART). This team was created three years ago to educate the campus and raise awareness about sexual assault.
"It's basically made up of faculty and staff that act as an advocate if somebody was sexually assaulted," Rodefeld said.
All 17 members of the team have been Safe Zone trained for sexual assault and how to talk to victims.
The members of this team act as advocates for victims and can offer them resources like where to go for counseling or medical attention, if it is needed.
The counseling center has resources for sexual assault victims.
If a student wants to get help off campus, they will be referred to the Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County or the Southeastern Family Violence Center in Lumberton, depending on what the issue is.
IV-SART has raised awareness about their group by having a trifold board at Pembroke Day and by displaying the Safe Zone logo on the office doors of team members.
"We have the Safe Zone logo but a lot of students don't know that logo. They may know the LGBT logo, so we're trying to raise awareness for that," Rodefeld said.
They also have events planned to raise awareness about sexual assault.
"Next semester we're bringing in the Theater Delta. They come in and do different skits on different topics, so we'll have them in February around Valentine's Day," Rodefeld said.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the counseling center usually holds a candlelight vigil and a T-shirt memorial.
"A lot of times with a sexual assault the victim knows the perpetrator. A lot of times people think it's the man in the alleyway jumping out, but more times than not it's someone they're at least familiar with," Rodefeld said.
Rodefeld believes that many sexual assaults go unreported because people don't want to get the other person in trouble.
"There's also a lot of shame and guilt that go with sexual assault. They don't want to come forward because word may get out on campus, and they don't want other students to know," Rodefeld said.
One thing Rodefeld tells people is that rape is rape.
"Acquaintance rape sounds fluffier; it doesn't sound as bad as rape. So like when we teach our Rape Aggression Defense class we say there's not just a partial murder; it's murder, and rape is rape," Rodefeld said.
For more information about IV-SART visit www.uncp.edu/ct/violence
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