Louisiana Board of Regents releases report on sexual assaults on - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana Board of Regents releases report on sexual assaults on college campuses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Sexual assault are two words that college students don't like to hear, and yet one in four women will be raped in their lifetime.  Only five percent of victims will ever come forward.

"It's kind of something that's taboo to touch," said LSU senior Lloyd Moffett.

However, it's a topic that is gaining attention. In July State Senator Jean-Paul Morrell asked the Louisiana Board of Regents to compile a report on the number of sexual assault cases over the last five years on each college campus. Read the report here. The report was also to include university policies on sexual assault, victim services and prevention efforts.  The conclusion?  Universities can do more.  

Every campus has some sort of investigative protocol for assault cases, and most have resources for victims.  Despite these efforts, the report stated that campuses need to do more to prevent sexual assault and violence from ever starting. 

The LSU Baton Rouge campus is the largest in the report with more than 30,000 students.  It also has the most assault cases with 22 in five years.  However, LSU does require training for students. The student health center also has medical and counseling services for victims. 

"We can help them navigate that university system. Do you want to file a police report? Do you not? Whatever the case may be, everything we do is guided by the student's wishes," said health promotion coordinator Seirra Fowler.

Fowler says that reasons sexual assault goes unreported vary from victims feeling shame to guilt about the situation.  However, Fowler explains that it is important that victims seek help from someone.  The Lighthouse program at LSU allows students to confidentially find help and services they may need, even if they do not wish to file a police report. 

Fowler says there are many misconceptions about sexual assault.  For example, in most cases the victim knows the attackers.  Most cases also involve alcohol consumption.  

"Students don't properly know the definition of consent," said Fowler. "You cannot give consent for sexual activity if you're under the influence for alcohol and drugs."

The BOR will be hosting a workshop university leaders to discuss the issue and what steps need to be taken moving forward. 

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