National Stalking Awareness Month

Lt. Jamie Gonzalez/Campus Safety & Security

Sexual assault is a problem on college campuses.  According to RAINN, “Rape Abuse Incest National Network”, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be assaulted during their time on campus.   These figures are based on the numbers of assaults reported.  Knowing that 63% of assaults are not reported, we can assume that many more college students are assaulted than those in the previously mentioned statistics.  Learning how to prevent sexual assault is key to your success as a student. Prevention is about protecting yourself and also your friends, peers and loved ones.

The following four paragraphs are excerpts from an article written by Patrick Sawer, senior reporter for The Telegraph.

“Police have revealed an unprecedented rise in the new crime of webcam blackmail – known as ‘sextortion’ – with more than 900 cases reported so far this year.  That is already more than double the total for the whole of 2015.

The National Crime Agency fears the true scale of the problem is far bigger, with many victims too ashamed to report their involvement to police.  Organized criminal gangs are blackmailing growing numbers of young men after using social media to entice them into performing sex acts on screen.

The crime is deceptively simple, typically involving the intended victim being approached through social media by an ostensibly attractive young woman who entices into engaging in explicit conversation culminating in a sex act.  As soon as the act has been caught on camera the victim receives a demand for cash, ranging typically from $50 to $500, with the threat the recorded film will be sent to all their friends and contacts – downloaded while the victim was online – and broadcast across the internet.

Police are now launching a campaign to raise awareness of the problem. Some of the victims are as young as 14.  While the majority are in the 18 to 24 age bracket.  More than 90 per cent of victims are male.  As a result to this crime we’ve already had four young men in the UK kill themselves because they saw no way out of the situation they had got themselves into. This is still a relatively new and emerging type of crime.  However the trend is clear. Cases of webcam blackmail – or sextortion – are going up dramatically.”

On January 31, 2017 Sgt. Kelsey Harris of the Daytona Beach Police Department and Zeva Edmondson from the Volusia Rape Crisis Center will be at the Henderson Welcome Center from 7:00pm – 9:00pm discussing topics such as: stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, date rape drugs, drinking and driving and safety on and off campus.  I’ve asked him to talk about these crimes in Daytona Beach.  We’re doing this because we want ERAU students to have a good time while they are here. That means going out and going to parties, but it also means being safe while having a good time.  Come learn how you can do both. It’s in your interest!