VERMILLION, S.D (KELO) — In less than 5 weeks, USD has reported five sexual assault cases on and near the campus.
The latest report came in early Sunday morning.
The Vermillion Police Department is currently investigating and campus police are trying to be more visible on campus.
“The university campus police received a call early Sunday morning of a sexual assault that took place here on the east side of campus. Now while the suspect and the victim were not students here at USD. Police Chief Bryant Jackson says this is an important conversation to have on resources and victim advocacy,”
“We want to ensure that we’re connecting all of those resources, that we establish those relationships. So if we do have a student or a staff or faculty or USD community member in need, that we’re familiar with those resources, and know how to get them connected as quickly as possible,” said Bryant Jackson, chief of the university police.
USD also works alongside other organizations in the area as part of its Coordinated Community Response Team.
“We make sure we’re taking a really holistic view of this issue and thinking about not only appropriate responses when something does happen, but really getting ahead of the problem and talking about prevention, talking about just opening up the conversation around this topic,” said Cassie Nagel, executive director at River City domestic violence center.
Both Nagel and Jackson want to create a safe space for victims and provide individualized help for every scenario on and off campus.
“When we can address those head on when we can create really meaningful conversation around these topics, we actually can move the needle and prevent these incidences before they happen,” Nagel said.
USD and the Student Government Association will be hosting a sexual assault response panel at six Thursday night. The panel will consist of campus police, Vermillion Police, River City Domestic Violence Center and others.