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R.A.P.E. Center tracks sexual assault data
The Rape: Advocacy, Prevention and Education (R.A.P.E.) Center, an office within Syracuse University’s Division of Student Affairs, was established in 1990 to provide support to and advocate for victims of nonconsensual sexual activity and to educate students about sexual assault prevention. While helping victims/survivors is the R.A.P.E. Center’s primary focus, the facilitation of education and prevention programs is also a priority.
To fulfill that mission, the center tracks sexual assault data and uses the information to educate the University community. During the 2003 calendar year, 36 cases of sexual assault were reported to the R.A.P.E. Center by Syracuse University students. Analysis of the information helps identify trends that guide the R.A.P.E. Center staff in developing effective prevention programming, and the information can help students protect themselves.
According to Janet Epstein, R.A.P.E. Center associate director, the perpetrator was known to the victim in all but one of the reported incidents in 2003. Thirty-three percent of incidents were reported by first-year women. In 39 percent of reported incidents, the perpetrator was an SU student. Seventeen percent of the reported cases occurred within the first five weeks of the Fall semester. Alcohol was a factor in 64 percent of reported incidents, affecting the perpetrator and/or the victim. Date rape drug facilitation was suspected in 11 percent of incidents. Thirty-one percent of reported incidents occurred on campus; 11 percent occurred at unrecognized fraternities.