Majority of rapes on campus involve alcohol
Although there are no statistics that directly correlate Homecoming weekend with a greater incidence of sexual assault, the presence of alcohol should lead women to be extra careful if they venture out to parties this weekend, acording to experts.
Assistant Coordinator of Sexual Awareness and Sexual Abuse Programs Liza Veto said that most rapes on campus usually involve alcohol.
"When more alcohol is consumed, such as on big weekends, there is a greater risk for a person to be a perpetuator or a victim of sexual assault," Veto said.
Rebel Roberts, the crime prevention officer for Safety and Security, said that there were no reports of sexual assault or rape on the weekend of Homecoming last year, from Thursday to Monday morning.
"This may not reflect what actually occurred," Roberts said. She said that there is no way of determining whether an incident of sexual assault occurred on Homecoming weekend if the victim decided not to report it until weeks later.
"If someone reports something to counseling, it may not be reported in the crime statistics," Roberts said.
Veto said that more sexual assaults are reported towards the end of the term, but there is no way of knowing how many women are assaulted on big weekends, such as Homecoming.
Last year, there were 21 reported rapes, 6 attempted rapes and 17 incidences of unwanted sexual contact without penetration, Veto said.
Veto said there are many options available for women who have been sexually assaulted.
She said victims of sexual assault may go to their Undergraduate Advisers, their deans, sexual assault peer advisers, the women's resource center, Dick's House, Safety and Security or to her.
"It depends on what the student sees as the most pressing issue," Veto said. She said that students are free to use any of the options, but all of the resources anonymously report any incidents of sexual assault to her.
Most rapes are not reported to the Hanover Police Department, Veto said.
"Since 1990, there have been about 20 to 30 incidents of sexual assault per year, but only a few are reported to Hanover Police," Veto said. "Most date rapes aren't reported to the police."
Veto said that through counseling, posters and discussions in residence halls, the Women's Resource Center and in Greek houses, she tries to educate the campus about sexual assault.