Two reported sexual assaults at ODU in a month raise questions of safety

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two sexual assaults were recently reported on the campus of Old Dominion University.

ODU officials say that both incidents are still under investigation, and only one warranted an alert.

For parents and students this is concerning, but there are resources available to help if you’re ever in the situation.

“The statistics really show that sexual assaults happen in the first four months of the school year as new people get to college campuses,” said Kristin Pine.

One was reported in late September in campus housing at Scotland House, and another was reported last Friday night near campus on West 49th Street.

“From the parent perspective it is a scary thing, it was a scary thing when my kids went off to college too,” Pine said.

Pine is both a parent and a sexual assault advocacy leader at YWCA in Norfolk

“I think scary on lots of different levels, but when you kind of look at the prevalence on college campuses of this crime in particular it’s very disturbing,” she said.

ODU did send out an alert for the report on Friday, describing a male suspect who is 200 pounds and 5 foot 9 inches tall.

They say the suspect is known to the victim.

“I think the misconception is that most sexual assaults offenders are people that don’t know the victim and the reality is that most victims know their perpetrator and trust that person, and that can be really difficult to determine who to trust and who not to trust,” Pine said.

ODU officials said in a statement that they send an alert any time a sexual assault is reported.

But they didn’t send an alert for the assault reported in late September at on-campus housing.

ODU says based on that case of sexual assault, which remains under investigation, there was no threat.

They would not give any suspect information.

Kristin says there are resources available if you’re ever in a similar situation.

“We have a 24-hour crisis hotline that number is 757-251-0144, we have counseling victim advocacy and just general support to help them through that process,” she said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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