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University of Central Oklahoma campaign seeks to raise awareness about violence against women

by Silas Allen Modified: February 13, 2013 at 10:19 am •  Published: February 13, 2013

In the second case, an 18-year-old woman reported being raped Oct. 21 in Central Plaza, a UCO residence hall. University officials said the woman wasn't a UCO student.

Campus police are seeking a “person of interest” in the case. Four months after the attack, university officials haven't released that person's name, but UCO spokeswoman Adrienne Nobles said the person is a male UCO student.

Such cases aren't unique to UCO. At Oklahoma's two largest universities, reports of forcible sex offenses spiked in 2011, the most recent year for which federal campus crime data is available.

The University of Oklahoma saw the steepest increase, with 16 “forcible sex offenses” reported in 2011 — four times the number from the previous year.

Oklahoma State University had 14 forcible sex offenses reported in 2011, its highest total in at least the last decade.

Records show both schools have 31 reported forcible sex offenses since 2007.

The term “forcible sex offense” is used to describe sexual encounters where one or more of the participants is an unwilling participant, according to crime data published on the universities' websites.

It's important that sexual assault and violence against women are brought to public attention, Bromme said. Raising awareness about the issue reduces the stigma surrounding it, which could make victims more likely to come forward, she said.

“You should stand up for yourself. You should know that this isn't normal,” she said. “The people who do these acts of violence deserve to be brought to justice.”

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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