Crime & Courts

2 Davidson College students report sexual assaults

Davidson College issued campus warnings this week after two female students reported being sexually assaulted in separate incidents on campus.

The college received the first report on Monday from a student who said she’d been assaulted on campus by someone she knew late last Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Campus police are also investigating a report received Wednesday from a student who said she’d been sexually assaulted on campus early on Sept. 14 by someone she knew.

Police released no other details. No arrests have been reported.

The college issued the alerts as required by the federal Clery Act, which mandates a “timely warning” when a crime has been reported and the nature of the reported crime “creates a possible serious or continuing threat to the campus community.”

Campus sexual assaults have been a nationwide issue, with calls for better investigations and action against perpetrators.

In May, about 200 people marched at Davidson College to show solidarity for on-campus victims of sexual violence. Hundreds more signed an online petition calling on the college to create a task force this year to change Davidson’s sexual misconduct policy.

The action followed the online publication of a 20-year-old Davidson student’s account of how the college failed her in a sexual misconduct case, and the release of a White House report that said colleges and universities must step up their handling of a crisis in which 1 of every 5 women is sexually assaulted in college.

The task force will host multiple forums for feedback about the policy in the weeks ahead. The college also recently launched a bystander education and training program to heighten awareness, challenge social norms, decrease misperceptions about sexual assault, and provide skills to intervene effectively.

In email alerts to the campus community this week, Davidson College said: “When we talk about sexual assault, it is important to be clear that the responsibility for the assault lies with the perpetrator. As we move forward, however, it’s important to focus on the things that we can all do to keep ourselves and others safe.”

The college recommended several ways to minimize vulnerability, including traveling with friends, yelling for help and calling campus police.