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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Just after Halloween, early Saturday morning, TCU students woke up to a startling crime alert about a sexual assault on campus.
The alert went out as a campus-wide email, which read in part, “at about 2:30 am TCU Police Department received a report that a female student was sexually assaulted…by a known acquaintance.”
The assault was reported at one of the residence halls.
Freshman Emma-Claire Hollande says she received the alert via email, but feels safe on her campus.
“I feel like everyone is looking out for everyone, and we would all get alerts if anything happened and be safe.”
According to the latest numbers from TCU’s annual Fire Safety Report, there were 11 cases of forcible sexual assault on campus in 2012 and seven in 2013.
“Makes me more aware, stick to a buddy system,” said grad student Carrie Davis.
Sexual assaults continue to make headlines across college campuses nationwide. The White House recently launched a star studded PSA called, “It’s on us,” to encourage students to intervene.
Deborah Caddy, director of the Rape Crisis and Victim’s Services Program at Fort Worth Women’s Center, says the attacker is someone the victim knows in at least 75% of sexual assaults.
“There’s an added component when it’s someone you have trusted, and then that person robs you of that, takes away your choice, betrays that trust,” says Caddy.
Recently, former TCU student, Joseph Robert Dowd was found not guilty of sexually assaulting a fellow student back in December of 2012. Caddy believes the outcome in that case could have made coming forward for this recent victim, and others, that much more difficult.
“That probably would go through anyone’s mind. ‘Is that going to be what happens to me if I choose to go forward?'” she said.
The Fort Worth Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit is handling the investigation. However, as of Monday evening, Fort Worth police said the victim is being uncooperative. There have not been any arrests at this time.
The email alert sent to students reminded them to call police and seek help immediately if they are sexually assaulted, because time is critical in these cases.
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