The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Sexual assault, not uncommon among students

When most people think of sexual abuse they think “Hey that could never happen to me!”

But Erin Walters, who is an adult counselor at Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services, said this is very untrue.

SACIS is located in the basement of Lawson Hall and has been there since 1977. Walter’s became a part of the program in 2006 when she was a psychology major at Eastern. SACIS assists victims of sexual assault and abuse, and a few of their key focuses deal with stalking, child abuse, and harassment.

The service has advocates for adults and children who have recently been abused or assaulted and who have been assaulted or abused in the past.

The counselors also help victims’ families and significant others receive help.

“Three-tenths of those sexually abused or assaulted file a police report,” Walters said. “This is mainly because rape and sexual abuse are the hardest topics to talk about.”

Not only does SACIS offer mental support and counseling, but it also has legal advocates.

These advocates work to help empower victims when they go to the hospital to get tests done.

“The motivation of sexual violence is always power and control,” Walters said.

A really common misconception is that SACIS is the same as the counseling center, but they are to separate divisions, Walters said.

Veronica Ruiz, a sophomore elementary education major, said she had no idea that there was such a program on campus and found the informational very helpful.

The event had a crowd of over 30 people, mainly female; however, some males were present.

“The stigma in society is that most males are not victims, but that is a myth nearly one in every six males has been affected by some sort of sexual assault or abuse,” Walters said.

At the informational there was a victim of sexual assault that spoke which confided in victims that they were not alone.

SACIS also sponsored Take Back the Night.

The Month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Most victims of sexual assault do not realize they have been assaulted.

Many factors can affect the situation; one of these factors is being afraid of getting an underage drinking ticket.

Walters said their legal advisory can help these types of victims and that in the state of Illinois a person under the influence of alcohol cannot consent to sex.

Victims must remember that the sexual assault or abuse that a loved one has experienced is not his or her fault.

SACIS is has a 24-hour confidential hotline that can be reached at 1-888-345-2846.

Tommy Hamilton Jr. can be reached at 581-2812 or ,a href=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]

Sexual assault, not uncommon among students

Sexual assault, not uncommon among students

Amanda Kettering, junior psychology major, talks about her experience of being sexually assaulted and how she volunteers for SACIS Monday evening in the Lecture Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center. The lecture was the kick-off event for Sexual Assault and


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