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May 8, 2017

Smith student sexually assaulted Sunday

A Smith College student was sexually assaulted on the Northampton campus early Sunday morning.

According to a statement released to Smith students by public safely director Paul Ominsky, the student, whose name has not been released by the school or police, was reportedly attacked Sunday morning between 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. in the living room of Chapin House.

She said her assailant is a white man about 5’6”, of average build, approximately 28 years old, with a light beard and mustache. The Northampton Police Department has released a sketch of the suspect who is believed to go by the name of Josh. The student reportedly knew the man prior to the attack.

There are currently no suspects in custody. Anyone with information on the assault is asked to contact the Northampton Department of Public Safety by calling (413) 585-2490 or dialing 800 on any Five College campus phone.

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, approximately 73 percent of rape victims know their attackers, as the Smith College student did. About one in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. College age woman are also four times more likely to be sexually assaulted.

In cases of sexual assault Smith College asks that asks that students follow five steps; get to a safe place, tell someone, get medical attention and report it. Once in a safe place, call the public safety office when on campus or the local police when off campus. As this is an upsetting situation, if the victim or anyone on campus would like someone to talk to they can call student counseling services, student affairs or the Everywoman’s Center. It is highly recommended that after a case of sexual assault students seek medical attention. Medical care can detect injuries, test for sexually transmitted diseases and prevent undesired pregnancies. 

Michelle Williams can be reached at mnwilliams@student.umass.edu.

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