ECU sexual assault education benefits community

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville Police recently released some crime statistics that you may initially find alarming, but they demonstrate that sexual assault education is working.

According to Greenville Police, there have been sixteen rapes reported in our community since this time last year. But numbers show only four rapes reported the year before. That’s a 300 percent increase.

While that figure may seem daunting to some, Greenville Police attribute the uptick to more people coming forward about sexual assault — not more incidents actually occurring.

Officials credit ECU for encouraging students to speak out, as they’re teaching now at freshmen orientation.

Greenville Police Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter says this education is working.

“We really, as odd as it sounds, view that as a good thing because it means that we’ve been successful in our efforts as well as the school’s efforts and the community leader’s efforts to really create a stigma-free environment where victims, particularly students, feel comfortable coming forward and reporting these crimes,” Hunter said.

Across the country, universities are encouraging students to speak out about sexual assault. That’s why ECU holds this special session at freshmen orientation talking specifically about Title IX.

ECU offers this informational program during orientation sessions this week and all throughout the summer.

They use dramatic video and student skits to tackle tough topics like alcohol abuse and rape. They focus on what students can do to help prevent sexual assault, the important role by-standers play, and how to come forward in the event something does happen.

ECU’s Title IX Officer Malorie Porter says it’s important to be proactive.

“We want students to come onto campus very informed. We want them to be able to make informed decisions and already know about these services and resources that we offer because then even if something should occur, and maybe not to them, they can assist someone else who it has occurred to,” Porter said.

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