There was an attempted rape in the Living Learning Center at Washburn University on Feb. 17.
According to Chris Enos, captain of the Washburn Police Department, a man tried to sexually assault a resident in the LLC. He was taken into custody and is currently residing in jail.
“There’s very little we can do to prevent a situation like this,” said Enos. “We monitor a lot of campus, including the hallways, and this particular case happened out in the open hallway.”
Not much information can be released regarding the attacker, but Enos says alcohol was a factor.
“A lot of the time it’s someone the victim knows,” said Enos. “We try to educate people for their own safety because it’s difficult to proactively prevent a rape from happening.”
Programs are offered, by request, to help students be aware of how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a sexual offense.
“I would say I feel pretty safe in the LLC,” said Katie Snider, freshman computer science major and LLC resident. “They have a lot of security. The only thing I really worry about is other people who let random people in the building. But I always see officers throughout the LLC so I don’t think it can get much safer. There’s always somebody around.”
Enos encourages victims to call 911 as soon as an assault happens. Victims are also encouraged to talk to a residential assistant, Student Counseling or Student Health Services if they do not want to talk to WUPD. The sooner the police is notified, the sooner they can get an investigation going.
“If you’re uncomfortable, there’s probably a reason for that,” said Enos. “Trust your instincts. Contact someone anytime you feel like you’re in an uncomfortable situation. Also remember there’s safety in numbers and try to keep your cell phone charged and with you with emergency contact numbers.”
Students can contact WUPD at 785-670-1153. WUPD is staffed 24 hours a day. To see a complete report of Washburn’s past crime statistics visit www.washburn.edu/right-to-know or pick up a copy from WUPD located in Morgan Hall 156.