Group lobbies for student rights after alleged sexual assault

Nearly 70 percent of sexual assaults go unreported by victims. One local college student says, even after she filed a complaint, her university failed to look at all the evidence.

Hundreds of Southern Illinois University students call Mae Smith Hall home, but one freshman says on Aug. 28 it became her nightmare.

"After everyone left, I fell asleep against the wall, and I woke up to my attacker having his hands down my pants," she said.

We’re protecting the woman’s identity, but she’s open about what happened

She says she and her alleged attacker were intoxicated, and there was no consent.

After she fled the situation, she underwent a rape kit and filed a complaint with SIU.

"They told me there wasn’t enough evidence, but they didn’t use my rape kit," she said. "They didn’t interview a lot of my friends that were there that night. They also told me there was no evidence of me saying no."

Since university policy stipulates you don’t have to say no to deny consent, the Consent Party is writing the chancellor to have the case reopened and policies reviewed.

"Their policy is written beautifully, and they have great definitions of consent in their policies," said Consent Party member Cassandra Daniels.  "We just don’t feel that they are necessarily following through with their own policy."

The university told Local 6 they can’t comment on any assault complaint.

Spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith did tell us SIU takes every complaint seriously.

"We take this very seriously, like every other institution in the country," said Goldsmith.  "The outcome of any investigation is going to be based on available evidence, and we do have an appeal process with either party."

That’s why the university plans to personally answer every letter they receive.

The victim we spoke with chose not to file a police report, and says she doesn’t want her alleged attacker to face criminal charges.

The Consent Party will be hosting a letter writing meeting Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at the Fly Over Info Shop in Carbondale.

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