The independent news organization of Duke University

Visitor reports rape on campus

An 18-year-old female visitor reported that, between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning, while much of the campus was celebrating the football win, she was raped by a 21-year-old male Duke student in his West Campus dorm room.

Police gave few details of the report Sunday, and the case was still under investigation. They would not say whether alcohol was involved, but did indicate the victim probably knew her attacker and that there was no reason to believe she was a potential Duke student.

The alleged assaulter has been identified, though police would not release his name. Major Robert Dean of the Duke University Police Department said the victim had gone to the hospital but appeared to be physically all right.

"The sad and challenging part of the situation is we know that acquaintance rapes like this happen far more often than reported," Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Sue Wasiolek said.

To avoid such situations, Wasiolek recommended that students be cautious about alcohol consumption, substances in their drinks, where their friends are, and if their friends make it home safely.

She said the University's role in protecting students from such situations is primarily educational, but that party monitors should also help.

"We ask party monitors to be aware of guests at a party, particularly women who appear to be intoxicated," Wasiolek said. "But in situations where students are isolated in their own rooms and two students are behind closed doors, it is hard to be certain of what is going on."

Last year, the University began requiring the presence of trained student monitors at registered on-campus parties. Officials would not say, however, where the reported rape took place.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Visitor reports rape on campus” on social media.