By Megan Favignano and Tierre Rhodes
A Webster University student reported being assaulted less than a quarter-mile from campus the night of Feb. 5, the Webster Groves Patch news website reported. The student was grabbed at the Highway 44 overpass and Edgar Road.
Webster Groves Patch, a local online news website, reported that the student claimed the assault was sexual in nature. The Webster Groves Police Department (WGPD) is investigating.
The student reported the incident to Health Services and filed a report with police on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Gladys Smith, assistant director at the Counseling and Life Development Office, said the student went to Health Services to talk about the incident and find out what he should do.
“He came to a safe place (Health Services) and was able to talk about it and we were able to get him to the right place,” Smith said.
The assault occurred at about 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 5. Webster Groves Patch reported, “police described the suspect as a white male 30-40 years old, average height and weight.”
Part of Smith’s role is to assist students who experience assault on or off campus.
Smith said nationally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted to some degree by the time they are 25 years old. That assault can be harassment, bullying or rape. Smith said, however, only 1 out of 10 men will report an assault.
Signs were posted around Webster’s campus informing students of the assault and reminding them to be aware of their surroundings. The signs also state that Webster’s Public Safety and the WGPD believe this to be an isolated incident.
In August of 2010, a female Webster student was assaulted while jogging near campus. That assault occurred at West Jackson road and Gray Avenue.
Rape Aggression Defense
Liza Schultheis and Scott Patterson from Webster University Public Safety teach the R.A.D course for women on campus. The course is in the University Center on Mondays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 3:20 p.m.
Schultheis said there are R.A.D courses for men, but Webster doesn’t have the demand for it on campus. She said the possibility of adding a R.A.D course for men depends on the interest in having one.
“It’s going to depend on the outcry for it,” Schultheis said.“I need from our male population, ‘Hey what about us?’”
Safety tips from Liza Schultheis of Public Safety
—Have keys in your hands when you leave
—Park in lighted areas
—Walk in groups or with a friend
—If you go jogging, don’t wear earbuds
—Pay attention when you walk, don’t talk on the phone or text