April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and UNC is no stranger to the sexual assault epidemic that plagues college campuses.
The 2019 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct found that more than 48 percent of UNC students reported experiencing at least one type of sexually harassing behavior since entering school, while 29.1 percent — nearly one in three — of female undergraduate students reported being victims of sexual assault — higher than the national average.
Recently, many people in Chapel Hill and Carrboro are feeling unsafe after a number of harassment incidents have been reported involving a man named Tucker Frey.
Frey has a criminal history of attempted kidnapping and assault. Though he was arrested last week and charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor for trespassing, he is no longer in custody at Orange County Jail.
While COVID-19 has significantly impacted the way that people can ask for and receive help, many organizations in the Chapel Hill area offer remote support via phone, text, and online messaging.
Here are some resources for those who have experienced gender-based harassment or violence:
Compass Center for Women and Families
The Compass Center provides free and confidential services to individuals who are experiencing or have experienced emotional, verbal, physical, sexual or other forms of abuse. Their services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency housing, support groups and legal support.
You can call their 24-hour crisis hotline at 919-929-7122.
UNC Gender Violence Services
Part of Carolina Women's Center, the Gender Violence Services Coordinators provide confidential support and advocacy for students, faculty and staff who experience gender-based violence and harassment during their time at UNC. They are able to assist with reporting processes involving the University and law enforcement, as well as refer individuals to further community resources.
Contact information for the GVSCs can be found here.
Orange County Rape Crisis Center
The Orange County Rape Crisis Center offers a variety of services for survivors of sexual violence, including 24-hour helplines, support groups and advocacy. Contact information, including 24-hour call, text and online chat, can be found here.
A student-led nighttime safety initiative, SafeWalk is an option for all UNC-affiliated individuals. You can request to be accompanied while you walk to any destination, on or off-campus, by a pair of students that have been trained by the Department of Public Safety. The program is currently operating between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To request a walk, call 919-962-SAFE or schedule a walk here.
While these resources are invaluable to survivors, prevention is crucial. We can all do our part to keep each other safe, whether it's by making sure our friends always have a walking buddy or offering to give others a ride home.
If you experience harassment or assault, you can report it to the police by calling 911 or 919-968-2760, or to the Crisis Unit at 919-968-2806.
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