Volume 94, Issue 63
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

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Student sexually assaulted

By Chris Webden
Gazette Staff

A female Western student was allegedly assaulted shortly after departing from a London night club last Saturday night.

Early Sunday morning, between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m., a 19-year-old female Western student left the Drink Night Club with a male she had met that evening, said Const. Paul Martin, spokesperson for the London Police Department.

Martin said the female accepted a ride from the male and proceeded to enter a car with him and his friends. Shortly after leaving the bar, the female was assaulted by the males in the vehicle, before being let out on the side of the road.

The victim then proceeded to go to the hospital, he explained, noting she sustained no major injuries.

Martin said the vehicle has been described as an older, 2-door white car, while warning all females to be careful of similar vehicles.

"[The Women's Issues Network] runs seminars on what is safe and what is not," said Erin McCloskey, co-ordinator of the WIN on campus, noting women should ensure they leave bars in groups of two or more and should never walk or take a taxi alone.

"Awareness of your surroundings is important at all times, especially when alcohol has been consumed," McCloskey explained.

According to McCloskey, most sexual assaults towards women are committed by people the victim knows or feels comfortable with. "[Women] should almost be more wary of people who appear safe and inviting," McCloskey said.

The most important thing is for women to be vocal and make as much noise as they can, McCloskey explained, adding females should avoid any situation in which they do not feel comfortable. "If you do have to accept a ride home, make sure you sit by a door, so you can get out if you have to," McCloskey added.

"[My roommates and I] never leave the bar without each other," explained Joanna Read, a third-year administrative and commercial studies student, adding she would be nervous about leaving the bar with any guy she had just met, and that a group of guys would simply intensify those feelings.

"If worse comes to worse, bring him back to your place [where you have roommates]," Read suggested.

"It is not so much that you should trust no one, it is just that you should put your safety first at all times," McCloskey said.

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