Revelle Rape Prompts Concern on Campus

A reported rape on the Revelle College campus has led to an investigation and an effort to educate students on rape and how best to deal with and prevent it.

Feb. 20 at 11:10 p.m., a female student reported being raped in the Revelle residence halls.

San Diego police detective Nate Floyd said a stranger did not perpetrate the alleged rape.

“”The offender was not unknown to the victim,”” Floyd said.

San Diego police detective Douglas O’Dell said the rape was not rape in the sense that many people think of it.

“”The rape under investigation would fall under 289 of California’s Penal Code – rape with a foreign object,”” O’Dell said. “”It can be anything: fingers or toes, anything. It is rape with something other than a penis.””

O’Dell said a suspect has been identified and charges are currently being reviewed by the district attorney’s office.

Kevin Jones, resident dean of Revelle College, said the university is also investigating the incident to possibly take disciplinary action against the suspect.

Jones offered students some tips on how to avoid being raped.

“”Be careful who you are with,”” Jones said. “”And then be careful to not to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so to not allow your faculties to be diminished.””

Renee Barnett-Terry, dean of Revelle College, said that Revelle has many programs that bring awareness on how to prevent rape and to promote the various services offered on campus.

“”During orientation and Welcome Week there are activities that deal with the issue of rape,”” Barnett-Terry said.

Barnett-Terry said no new measures will be taken in response to this incident.

“”We will not do anything new, but we will continue with programs we have,”” Barnett-Terry said.

Nancy Wahlig, director of the Student Safety Awareness program, said the majority of rapes are committed by individuals known to the victims.

“”Eighty-five percent of reported rapes are committed by someone known to [the victim],”” Wahlig said. “”[The victim] could have a class with the offender, have met at a party, or could be a friend of a friend.””

Wahlig also said that when a female is raped by someone she knows, she cannot automatically count on the support and public outcry that the classic model of rape by a stranger is given.

“”Many times, rape cases committed by a stranger are treated as a crime, whereas rape committed by someone known is not seen as bad or not even considered a crime in some cases,”” Wahlig said. “”[Thus] it is hard for the victim to know whom to trust or turn to.””

Referring directly to the alleged rape at Revelle College, Wahlig said it is remarkable that the student reported it, because, she said, rape is the most underreported crime of all.

“”The fact that the student was willing to report the rape talks about her drive and courage,”” Wahlig said.

Wahlig said that the Student Safety Awareness program serves as an on-campus resource to educate students on how to prevent rape, the many myths associated with rape, and what to do when raped. Victim counseling is also offered.

One of the myths Wahlig said her program seeks to dispel is the date rape myth: the idea that because a woman acts a certain way she condones violence by a male.

“”In a date rape type of situation, the blame often falls to the woman, but she never asks to be harmed like that,”” Wahlig said.

Wahlig offered tips on what students should do if raped.

“”First, find a safe place,”” she said. “”Second, tell a trusted friend. Then find out all your options, one of them being calling the 24-hour Rape Crisis hotline at (858)272-1767. Or you can use the Student Safety Awareness program. We are here for the students.””

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