Ohio University steps up patrols after reported rapes on campus

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ATHENS (WCMH) – Police at Ohio University are increasing patrols after issuing a crime alert about a reported rape and kidnapping on campus over the weekend. 

Students at Ohio University have only been in class for a few weeks. Campus police say two rapes crimes have already been reported. 

The most recent was this past Sunday.

“A female was forced into a pickup truck and then driven to a location elsewhere,” said OUPD Captain George Harlow. 

According to campus police, that student was taken to her dorm room on South Green and assaulted. 

Sexual violence crimes like this have been on the rise at college campuses including at OU. 

“It is often difficult for survivors to report the fact that he or she has been assaulted but when they do they give us opportunities to connect dots,” said Harlow. 

According to the University’s Clery Act Annual Security Report, 32 cases of rape were reported in 2016 compared to 19 reported in 2014. 

The University’s Crime and Emergency Alert Page list eight reported incidents of rape or sexual assault between February of last year and September 2018. 

In all eight cases, the victims were women. 

“There are times when I’ll see things where I’m like I need to step in or someone needs to say something because this isn’t going to end well, said OU Junior, Mekenna Michaels. 

Juniors Mekenna Michaels and Hannah Kenney says the rape culture on college campuses needs to be addressed and it can start with women looking out for one another. 

“I appreciate seeing when girls are walking together and it’s not that one person by themselves, said Michaels. 

“I think keeping tabs on your friends is really important. We live together and all of our friends share locations so if someone is out really late we know where they are and it’s not a guessing game,” said Kenney. 

University Police say they do not have a suspect in either case but they are working with the victims that are involved. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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