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Sexual Assaults and Unofficial
CHAMPAIGN-- University of Illinois Police Sergeant Joan Fiesta says, "Unofficial is really a concern because we have such a high number of people coming from out of town, staying with friends in unfamiliar situations where they may not feel good about getting out of a situation." It can be a problem at any time of the year, but especially on weekends when drinking is much more prevalent.
Kerri Tru-Funk, Executive Director at R.A.C.E.S., says, "Sometimes people will take advantage of that situation, so they'll pressure people to do things they're not normally comfortable with or they'll put them in physically dangerous situations." On university campuses across the country, including at U of I, sexual assault and rape statistics are linked closely to alcohol consumption.
Daniela Galves of the University Police says, "It's part of the culture to drink to excess and be out of control and not hold one another accountable for actions. Especially when we have a large influx of students from out of town and possibly even from out of state who don't feel like they're being held to any particular law or behavioral standards." Experts say the key to prevention is to only drink in moderation and avoid any situations that may make you feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.
Says True-Funk, "If you're not intoxicated or not as intoxicated as other people around you, you probably have a better idea of what's going on than people that are intoxicated." They say to just use common sense and take any action necessary to help someone who is unable to help themselves. Fiesta says, "Go ahead and step in for your friend. Don't think that necessarily they're making a decision that's good for themselves."
Adam Rife reporting