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Special Alert: Reported Possible Sexual Assault

May 16, 2011

To: The Oberlin College Community
From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security
Date: Monday, May 16, 2011

On Monday, May 16, 2011 at approximately 1:09 a.m. the Office of Safety and Security received a report from Oberlin Police Department of a possible sexual assault of an Oberlin student that occurred on Sunday, May 15 in a residence hall on campus. The incident was reported directly to the Oberlin Police Department, which is the investigating agency.

While not all crimes can be prevented, and the below advise may not be specific for this incident, this communication with the community is to remind each member to take special care for your own safety and for the safety of others, and to be well-acquainted with the requirements of Oberlin’s Sexual Offense Policy.

Safety Tips for the Community

Sexual assault out of social situations cannot always be avoided, but some proactive things can be done to reduce chances of being victimized:

  • Make a plan to attend and leave social functions with responsible and trusted friends who share your own values and will not change their plans once in attendance.
    • When attendance at a party becomes large, behavior loud or boisterous, or where there are many people you do not know, leave the party in a safe manner establishing your own independence. (See below for safety escort services.)
    • Be aware that alcohol and drugs often compromise one’s ability to make decisions or physically help one stay out of unwanted situations.
    • Do not return to a drink left unattended; do not drink from a community container such as a punch bowl or accept drinks from those you do not know well.
    • Do not use drugs or alcohol to loosen inhibitions or as an excuse to rationalize your own abusive behavior toward someone else later. Voluntary intoxication is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior under the law or under college regulations.
    • Seek assistance when needed--the College Medical Amnesty Policy allows a student at medical risk to seek medical attention for him- or her- self or another for intoxication or overdose without formal College sanction for illegal use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when college policies have been violated in conjunction with intoxication or overdose.
    • Seek assistance from the Oberlin Police if there is an emergency. Dial 9-1-1.
    • Contact Safety and Security for a safety escort if you need assistance leaving a social function by calling (440) 775-8444 or Ext. 58444 from on campus.

Oberlin College Safety and Security urges anyone who believes they have been victim of a sexual offense to immediately contact their local law enforcement agency. On campus, Safety and Security can be contacted at 440-775-8911. Oberlin Police can be contacted at Emergency 911, or directly at 440-774-1061. Victims of any form of sexual assault are encouraged to seek support 24-hours a day through the Lorain County Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-888-6161, and report the offense to the Sexual Offense Policy Administrator at 440-775-8555.