Five sexual assaults have been reported in Oxford since the beginning of the fall semester. During the same time period last year, there was only one.
On Monday, Aug. 27, the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) received reports of a sexual assault that occurred early Sunday, Aug. 25 in Wells Hall on Central Quad. According to the police report, the suspect was known to the victim but is not a Miami student. The report listed the offense as "sexual battery," which is defined as "non-consensual sexual touching" by the MUPD.
Just before 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, a female survivor reported to the Oxford Police Department (OPD) she was raped earlier that evening on North Poplar Street. Afterwards she was taken to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital and said "she may have had sexual intercourse with a [male] subject known to her without her consent," according to the police report.
And on Sunday, Sept. 1, two additional sexual assaults were reported.
One female student told MUPD a man she knew sexually assaulted her around 1:50 a.m. on Sunday morning. The incident took place in a room inside Porter Hall on South Quad, according to the police report.
Later on Sunday, another female student told MUPD she was raped by a white, college-aged man she didn't know between 11:30 and 11:40 p.m. in an outdoor section of Central Quad near Minnich Hall.
She described the suspect as six-foot-two and 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. That night he was wearing a black t-shirt, jeans and white Adidas "three-stripe" shoes. He also has a noticeable gap in his front teeth.
The fifth reported assault was brought to MUPD's attention last week, but actually happened in February 2019,
Dean of Students Kimberly Moore sent an email to the Miami community on Thursday, Sept. 5, saying she is "disheartened to see new reports of sexual assaults of Miami students."
"When hearing about these types of incidents, we can feel helpless," she wrote. "While that is a normal response, that is not the case; we each have a role to play in bettering our community and eliminating these incidents."
Moore encouraged students to take action through It's On Us and by joining student organizations dedicated to preventing sexual and interpersonal violence such as the HAWKS Peer Educators, Men against Rape and Sexual Assault and People Against Violence and Sexual Assault.
She also encouraged that students download the Rave Guardian application, which allows them to text MUPD, set a safety timer when walking home and send a GPS location to MUPD.
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Sexual assault survivors in the Miami community who wish to report an incident can contact campus security enforcement, including the Miami University Police Department 513-519-2222, the Oxford PD 513-523-4321, the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution 513-529-1417, athletic coaches and any academic or student organization advisor.
If students wish to speak to a non-mandatory reporter for confidential support, they can call or text Miami's campus-based support specialists from WomenHelpingWomen at 513-431-1111. WomenHelpingWomen is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and is also reachable through email at MU@womenhelpingwomen.org.
This article was updated to include Dean of Students Kimberly Moore's response to the sexual assaults and edited for clarity.