MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As students plan to march against sexual violence Saturday, new numbers show how many sex crimes are being reported on Minnesota college campuses.
There were 294 sexual assaults reported to Minnesota colleges and universities in 2015.
Half turned into school investigations. One-sixth of the victims also reported the crime to police.
Two months ago, we were talking about the 10 University of Minnesota football players accused of sexual assault.
Since then, a fraternity has been suspended, and there is a surge of advocacy here on campus, thanks to some women who are making their private nightmares public.
Behind their smiles, there is pain. Each shared their photo so we would share with you their story of college sexual assaults from U of M to Mankato.
“I am far from alone. There are so many survivors out there of all genders and ages, races, it’s a very widespread issue,” Abby Honold said.
A U of M childhood development major, sexual assault education is now her passion.
“I was raped in November 2014 by a man named Daniel Drill-Wellum. He is now in prison for six years, but it took a long time to get him there,” she said.
After a string of stories like Honold’s and repeated sexual assault allegations against athletes, the University’s president says he has a plan.
“Mandatory training for faculty and staff,” President Eric Kaler said. “Not everyone will like this but the time has come.”
Kaler is also setting up committees that report to him, an awareness campaign and continued training for upperclassmen.
“Training and education I think are really important in bystander intervention. There are a lot of people that we can’t stop from committing sexual misconduct crimes, but we can encourage people to step up,” Honold said.
Honold met with Kaler and says he is receptive and she is hopeful.
“I think that we are seeing a shift in the culture where victims are feeling more empowered to speak out and to claim the title of survivor instead of victim,” she said.
So many sharing their tales in hopes their stories become rare.
Honold will share her story Saturday, so will several other women. They will rally on fraternity row, starting at the Purple Onion at 2 p.m.
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