PSU sees rise in sexual assault cases, provides resources to students

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State University police have reported five sexual assault cases in a seven-day period, during the first week of classes of the fall semester at the University Park Campus.

Six sexual assault cases were reported for the entire month of August, making it the highest on record since October 2016, according to Penn State’s Timely Warnings. While the warnings are not considered a confirmed assault, they meet the circumstances outlined by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and the campus crime statistics act.

The University is aware of the rise in reports and said they prioritize prevention and are armed with a variety of efforts aimed at combating the misconduct.

According to Penn State, the first few weeks of the semester are known as the “red zone.” Meaning, it is a time where there is an increase in sexual assault reports and many students are not yet familiar with the resources available to them.

The University has implemented a variety of efforts aimed at combating sexual assault – including frequent messaging throughout the year and information on bystander intervention that can be a critical aspect of prevention. Stand for State, our bystander intervention program teaches students how to take action when they witness something concerning.

Penn State also offers multiple resources and urges victims to report misconduct via phone or online to the University’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response.  University Police and Public Safety offers a free Community Education Program about Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention, which student groups and employees can request any time using an online form.

Additionally, University Police offers Safe Walk, which is a free service in which students and employees can request an escort to their on-campus destination from dusk to dawn.

Here are other possible useful resources available: 

Additional on-campus resources: 

·         Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity: 814-863-1248 

·         Commonwealth Campuses Sexual Assault Resources 

·         Counseling and Psychological Services (confidential): 814-863-0395 

·         Gender Equity Center (confidential): 814-863-2027 

·         Penn State Crisis Line: 1-877-229-6400 

·         Penn State Crisis Text Line: Text “LIONS” to 741741 

·         Penn State Hotline (anonymous reporting): 800-560-1637 

·         Penn State Police: 814-863-1111 

·         Safe Walk Program: 814-865-9255 

·         University Health Services (confidential non-emergency care): 814-863-0774 

·         UHS after-hours advice nurse (24 hours a day): 814-863-4463 

·         University Ambulance Service (identify yourself as a student): 911 

Off-campus resources: 

·         Centre Safe (24/7, confidential): 814-234-5050 

·         Mount Nittany Medical Center (confidential emergency care): 814-234-6110 

·         National Sexual Assault Hotline (confidential 24/7 hotline or live chat): 800-656-4673 

·         National Sexual Violence Resource Center 

·         Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (hotline): 1-888-772-7227 

·         State College Police: 814-234-7150 or 911 

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