SDSU steps up efforts against sexual assault

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SAN DIEGO – San Diego State University is stepping up its efforts to prevent sexual assaults on campus after a woman was hospitalized Saturday after an alleged assault.

It happened in the dorm and the woman knew the man.  They had apparently been together during the day, said campus police.

Police interviewed the man involved but no arrests have been made.  The investigation is ongoing but police believe alcohol was involved.

The attack over the weekend is the third one on campus, leaving many students on edge.

“I carry pepper spray around everywhere, just in case,” said student Tyler Harper. “It makes you want to be careful about who you’re with, who you hang out with and really get to know people’s character.”

Starting this year, the school will include a 30-minute program focused on the topic at its freshman orientation.

“For us, it’s about education, and giving the students the tools they need to make good choices,” said SDSU spokeswoman Beth Chee.

Jessica Pride is a sexual assault attorney representing several victims attacked at SDSU. According to Pride, 1 in 5 women on a college campus will be raped by the time they’ve graduated and that 80% of the assaults are by someone the victims knew.

She points to two important pieces of legislation to help fight campus sexual assault.

In California, the “Yes Means Yes” bill strengthens prevention programs at UC and CSU schools.  It also sets a new standard for defining consensual sex.

“They need to make sure that both people are willing and wanting,” said Pride.

President Obama also just launched the “It’s On Us” campaign asking men and women across the country to make a personal commitment to put an end to sexual assault on college campuses.


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