The Crisis Center Reacts to UTPB Sexual Assault

The Crisis Center Reacts to UTPB Sexual Assault

by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Crisis Center in Odessa says that about 95% of sexual assaults on college campuses go unreported, and they hope that maybe now, more victims will come forward.

"Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes," Karen Hildebrand, executive director of The Crisis Center, said.

The Odessa Crisis Center is reaching out to the public on the heels of the first reported sexual assault on the UTPB campus this year. The most recent statistics from DPS are from 2012 where there were 123 reported sexual assaults, but zero of them were from UTPB or Odessa College. The Crisis Center says that rapes among college-age people are not uncommon.

"Alcohol and drugs are involved in most of the cases, and that's on both the part of the victim and the perpetrator," Hildebrand said. "Make sure that you're able to consent, that you're not under the influence of drugs or alcohol so much that you would not be able to consent, that you're not able to take care of yourself."

The Crisis Center thinks that there might be an increase in sexual assault reports, but does not want the public to be alarmed.

"Just because people are reporting more, it may look like there's a jump in the number of sexual assaults when that probably is most likely not the case, but people are feeling more comfortable and safe to go forward and prosecute these criminals," Hildebrand said.

But they want to use this as an opportunity to remind people that it is never the victim's fault.

"In the wrong place at the wrong time, they were out too late, they were dressed provocatively, whatever that reason, it is not any reason why someone should commit a crime against you and violate you," Hildebrand said. "We really do need to focus on stopping sexual assault, period."