Cal State Fullerton Student Reportedly Raped Day After "Stop Rape Culture" Rally
Photo by Irene Arellano
UPDATE, FEB. 10, 7:33 A.M.: Cal State Fullerton University Police sent yet another bulletin yesterday afternoon regarding another alleged sexual assault. The campus-wide email went out at the same time the Women and Gender Studies Student Association held a meeting addressing the protest they joined last week addressing rape culture and sexual batteries. Like the reported rape last week, the latest incident is said to have taken place on CSUF student housing.
"The sexual assault allegedly occurred approximately two weeks ago and intoxication was potentially the means the alleged perpetrator used to commit the assault," the bulletin reads. "The alleged perpetrator was identified as male and an acquaintance of the victim."
After two butt grabbing incidents in late January, campus organizations and activists criticized university police for giving safety tips they say amounted to "victim blaming." This time around, the string of reported sexual violence occurring when women are rallying their voices seems to have changed the campus cops' tone.
Instead of offering safety tips, they gave students a number of school site resources while addressing the issue of consent head on. "Consent must be voluntary, and given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent can be withdrawn or revoked," the bulletin reads. "Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated."
In light of the crisis on campus, what steps CSUF administrators and activists take next remains to be seen.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 9, 7:33 A.M.: Cal State Fullerton students staged a spirited march and rally against rape culture on Wednesday after a perv grabbed two women's butts. The very next morning, a man allegedly raped a woman in her room at CSUF's main campus housing. University police sent a campus-wide bulletin by email later that day. The rape is said to have happened at 6:00 a.m. "The male suspect is an acquaintance of the victim," the bulletin reads, as is most often the case.
It's the third reported rape on campus housing for the commuter college in less than a year's time and follows two sexual batteries late last month.
The protest before the reported rape empowered women's voices. "I've been organizing for years.The turnout for the action was amazing!" protester Rocio Prado tells the Weekly. She's an English graduate student and past president of the Queer People of Color Club, which joined the march. "We were obviously tapping into something the campus was feeling for awhile."
And then news of the alleged rape came the day after.
"When I got the email, it was almost proof that this is something that regularly happens," Prado says. "It makes me feel sick to my stomach and angry."
The Weekly hasn't yet received comment from CSUF about the status of the case. We'll update when we do.
"All members of the campus play an important role in ensuring a safe campus community," the university police bulletin reads. "It is important to ensure doors close and are locked after entering Housing buildings."
The two previously reported rapes in 2014 took place a month apart on April 17 and May 16 last year. "Both cases were investigated and filed with the Orange County District Attorney's Office," according to campus cop captain John Brockie. "OCDA rejected both cases for lack of sufficient evidence."
According to Justice Department statistics, 68% of rapes never get reported. When they do, FBI crime data analysis says that only 7 out of every 100 rape cases ever lead to an arrest. Felony convictions? Only 2%.
"I'd like to see workshops for men on what consent means," Prado says of steps forward for CSUF. "I want men to start caring." The Women and Gender Studies Student Association is holding a meeting later today on all that's happened in the past week-and-a-half. No meeting between concerned students and university police has been confirmed.
"Women are raped because they are dehumanized as if their body doesn't belong to them," Prado declares in the meantime. "Feminism is the answer to rape culture."
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts