Campus Officials Say Assault is an Underreported Issue

By Allana Ansbro, contributor – aansbro@unca.edu

In order to properly address issues of violence, the country needs to put more thought into why people commit violent acts. Peter Haschke, assistant professor of political science, said society needs to first deal with root causes.

Haschke said domestic violence has become more common in society.

“More and more people are becoming aware of domestic abuse,” Haschke said.

Even with increased awareness, there remains a lot of underreporting, he said. The country needs to more actively prevent assault and violence.

“It’s not a reasonable solution to tell women to dress a certain way,” Haschke said. “That’s not dealing with the problem.”

Violence will always be a societal issue, he said. Haschke said he has not heard anything indicating a decrease in sexual assault. Simply reporting assault does not solve the problem.

“Other than the typical, physical assault, fight, we don’t have those often on this campus,” Boyce said. “Sexual assault is underreported and so we don’t have a really good sense of the frequency of it.”

Charges for assault cases may take place even if the victim is uninjured, Boyce said.  He said the university works with OurVoice and HelpMate to provide resources and advocacy to victims.

“There’s always university police, there’s also always resources available through Title IX, health and counseling provides resources,” Boyce said.

Boyce said Rocky Shield includes a friend watch where students can add three friends as contacts. If a friend stops responding, contacts receive a Google Maps text message showing their friend’s location.

According to the UNC Asheville Health and Wellness Center’s officials, the campus Health and Counseling Center offers a rape aggression defense class to both women faculty and students.

Lauren Shell, a health and wellness student, said she took a class at the health center during the spring semester. According to Shell, the class lasted six weeks and taught awareness and self-defense techniques.

Shell said she heard about the class while taking a women studies course. One of the instructors, Anna Goddard, came to their class and told them about the classes offered.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are a lot of predators and people that prey on women,” Shell said.

Students learned simple techniques, such as clicking a car remote once instead of twice at night, Shell said.

Shell said she feels confident that she would instinctively know how to react in a dangerous situation, thanks to the class.

“I really encourage everybody to take it, and honestly incoming freshmen should be required to,” Shell said.

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