UNCW police investigating five recent reports of sexual misconduct on campus
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - UNCW Police are investigating five reports of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence on campus over the last month, a Campus Safety Message sent earlier this week states.
According to the university police’s crime log, the five allegations were reported between Sept. 24-Oct. 17:
- Sept. 24, Walton Drive, a report of sexual assault was made.
- Oct. 13, Seahawk Village Loop, a report of sexual assault was made.
- Oct. 13, Reynolds Drive, a sexual assault was reported.
- Oct. 16, Walton Drive, a report of unconsensual fondling.
- Oct. 17, Walton Drive, a report of a past occurred sexual assault.
The log states that all five cases are still under investigation:
On Oct. 21, UNCW Interim Chief of Police Chris Bertram sent a campus safety message to the university’s students.
“Five allegations of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence have been reported to the University Police Department over the last month on campus at UNCW,” the email states. “The incidents did not involve unknown respondents/perpetrators or an ongoing threat to the campus community. The university reviews each incident that is reported to staff to ensure the individuals involved have the opportunity to connect with law enforcement, utilize institutional formal processes including investigation, and receive supportive measures. Several of those individuals are working with law enforcement or other entities.”
The email also listed resources students can use if they or someone they know is a victim of sexual misconduct.
Students at UNCW say they are surprised that these alleged incidents happened right where they live.
“I was actually quite surprised and I was very alarmed,” said Ashley Davis, a freshman. “That’s not something to be, like, joked about and I was concerned, too.”
Even though the University says there is no ongoing threat to campus safety, some students say they they still have concerns when it comes to living on campus.
“I mean, I feel pretty safe,” said Freshman Sierra Forrest. “The only thing about it is, like, I think it’s kind of weird that, like, random people can come on campus.”
Students like Davis have been taking extra precautions since coming to campus in the fall to feel more protected.
“I make sure I’m out at certain times,” said Davis. “When it gets later, I’m not out as much and I always, like, have a buddy or someone who’s close with me that I let know my location.”
Forrest and her fellow freshman Ellie Grove say they try to walk around campus in groups and always try to be aware of their surroundings.
“I feel like, walking around campus with friends and stuff, obviously at night, I’m always worried.” said Grove. “Not even here, but at home, too. Like, I feel like you always have to be worried.”
Other students, like Sophomore Nazir Davis, said that despite UNCW having co-ed dorms, he still felt safe around the people he was living with.
“I think with the coed dorms too, obviously there’s men and women living in the dorms, I felt pretty good too because they didn’t do too much to mess me up,” Nazir said.
The full message sent to students can be seen below:
Campus Safety Message
Five allegations of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence have been reported to the University Police Department over the last month on campus at UNCW. The incidents did not involve unknown respondents/perpetrators or an ongoing threat to the campus community. The university reviews each incident that is reported to staff to ensure the individuals involved have the opportunity to connect with law enforcement, utilize institutional formal processes including investigation, and receive supportive measures. Several of those individuals are working with law enforcement or other entities.
If you or someone you know experiences sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, there are several resources on campus that can respond and assist with those situations.
· The University Police Department is a fully sworn law enforcement agency that can take reports and engage in formal investigative activity. UPD can be reached by dialing 911 in an emergency or by dialing 910.962.2222 for non-emergency calls.
· The Office of Title IX and Clery Compliance can provide interim accommodations as well as a formal process through UNCW to address incidents of sexual misconduct. Reports can be submitted on the Title IX website and identified complainants (victims) will receive a reach out from the office to engage with the services.
· CARE is a confidential resource for any students, faculty, or staff that have been impacted by sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence. They have two full-time, professional advocates who can assist with safety planning and exploring law enforcement, medical, and Title IX options.
In addition to the aforementioned resources, emergency call boxes are located throughout campus and can be found on the campus map. Upon pushing a button on a call box, an individual will be contacted by the University Police Department and an officer will respond to the location. Additionally, you can utilize the LiveSafe app, which is a free app with features including:
· Report Tips: Submit tips related to safety concerns. Attach photo, video, or audio file (anonymously if you choose).
· Safety Map: See where you are in relation to campus buildings, the University Police Department, and call boxes.
· SafeWalk: Feel safer walking with SafeWalk, a peer-to-peer virtual escort tool.
· Quick Access: UNCW resources, such as phone numbers, website addresses, essential safety information and emergency procedures all at your fingertips.
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