Safety concerns ripple after VCU report of sexual assault

Posted at 8:47 PM, Aug 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-21 20:47:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)— Virginia Commonwealth University freshman are talking about a serious crime reported Tuesday night.

“It is slightly frightening,” says Warren Feeney. “They’re definitely keeping everyone up to date.”

Feeny said that people definitely re talking about and that “most of the campus knows about it.”

VCU Police say a woman was sexually assaulted. However the woman didn’t provide specific information about where the crime occurred. Investigators say drugs may have also played a part in the assault.

Despite the scant details related to the sexual assault VCU police wanted to inform students. An electronic alert was sent out campus wide through e-mail and texts. The alert is part of VCU complying with federal law when it comes to campus crime.

Freshman Aliyah Imani from Chesapeake pays close attention to the alerts. She is satisfied with the schools efforts in keeping her in the loop.

“Yes, I take it very seriously. It made me worry about the campus, but it can happen anywhere,” says Imani. “We talk about being safe and always walk with each other.”

Linda Hancock with the University’s Wellness Center says the school urges sexual assault victims to step forward. Hancock says she wants women and men who are victims of sexual assault to know there are places to turn for help.

“All students need to take precautions for the safety and wellness,” says Hancock. “Here at VCU we will do three things: We will listen; we will believe; and we will refer you to the support that you need.”

“It is scary. It is scary for anyone who is a victim,” says Hancock.

Students say concentrating in class is priority one, but paying attention doesn’t end when he leaves class.

“It can happen to anybody. It can happen to guys too. So you have to be safe and be with somebody,” says Feeney.

“VCU? They make sure they notify all of the students that makes me feel safer,” he adds.

Richmond Police are not assisting VCU Police with the investigation.