University Of Delaware Accused Of Slow, Bureaucratic Response To Woman’s Alleged Kidnapping, Assault

Photo: DelDOT

Students at the University of Delaware plan to protest for a second day to demand action from the university and to demand changes in the universities policies, organizers said on Wednesday.

The students are up in arms over what they say was a “bureaucratic” response from the school after an alleged off-campus attack in which a University of Delaware student is accused of kidnapping and assaulting a woman.

On Monday Newark Police issued a statement that said they were contacted by a female victim who reported an assault on the previous Friday at about 8:44 in the morning.   Newark Police Spokesman Lt. Andrew Rubin said the woman reported that a man known to her struck her with blunt objects, sprayed her in the eyes with spray paint, threatened to kill her before he strangled her to unconsciousness.  Rubin added that the man blocked the exit to the room and prevented the victim from leaving the apartment.  After about four hours the woman was thrown down a flight of stairs and was able to flee the apartment and contact police according to the statement. The full story can be found here.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault happen far too often on college campuses, we want the university to be an advocate and enforce protocols and safety measures to protect women.” one student said. “The school is taking a back seat and waited days to make a statement regarding an alleged attack of a Newark woman by a student. Their statement was bureaucratic and called for no real action, only empty words, referring to the universities statement which can be found below.

Dear UD Community,

The past few days have been difficult for the University of Delaware community. We are writing to acknowledge the harm inflicted, denounce the violence reported, and call for our community to come together and advance our goals of a campus climate free of all violence, including gender-based violence and violence against women.

We know students want details about the recently reported act of gender-based violence. Please know that the situation sparked immediate response by the University. Our Code of Conduct allows the University to separate students from UD upon an arrest for a violent felony. As such, the University has followed this policy. In regards to the fraternal affiliation of the arrested individual, Kappa Delta Rho fraternity immediately reported the incident to the University, filed a report with the Office of Equity & Inclusion and initiated its own disciplinary process. Tonight the fraternity permanently revoked his membership. At this point, we do not have information that connects the fraternity with this specific incident. If information is discovered or presented that alleges the fraternity’s involvement, we will initiate the Student Conduct Process.

This recent, heinous incident of domestic violence reminds everyone in our community that we must be vigilant to uphold our values so that all can be safe here and pursue an education without the unjust burden of intimidation or threat to one’s physical and emotional wellbeing and safety. We know that many victims and survivors suffer in silence and that incidents like these serve to re-traumatize those who have experienced victimization. We invest time and energy in ensuring that many support resources exist at the University in order to aid all Blue Hens on a path of healing and to promote a well campus.

All members of our UD community have access to 24-hour support and trained professionals through Sexual Offense Support (SOS). To contact an SOS Victim Advocate, call the UD Helpline 24/7/365 at 302-831-1001 and press 1. The clinician will check to make sure you are safe, then take a first name and phone number and have an advocate call you back within 10 minutes.

Students can connect with the Center for Counseling and Student Development located in the Warner Wellbeing Center. The center is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. They can be reached by phone at 302-831-2141.

Any UD student feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or otherwise in need of confidential support may contact the UD Helpline at 302-831-1001 at any time. Students can also text “UDTEXT”, or “STEVE” for students of color, to the phone number 741741 to connect with confidential text message support.

The University of Delaware encourages anyone who experiences or observes sexual misconduct, gender-based violence, domestic violence, discrimination or sexual harassment to report the incident to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Sincerely,

José-Luis Riera, Vice President, Student Life
Fatimah Conley, Interim Chief Diversity Officer

The protest is expected to take place along Main Street around 5:00 pm on Wednesday.

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

View all posts by Staff Writer →