Daily Egyptian

“Why does SIU say I’m not a survivor?”

Back to Article
Back to Article

“Why does SIU say I’m not a survivor?”

By Shannon Allen, @ShannonAllen_DE

Sexual assault survivor expresses frustration with university

Robyn Del Campo, a freshman from Bloomingdale studying physical education, said she was sexually assaulted a week and a half into the school year.

“My report pretty much said that I did not continuously say, ‘No’ [while being attacked], therefore I did not have enough evidence to convict my attacker,” Del Campo said. “Why does SIU say I’m not a survivor?”

Advertisement

Del Campo said her attacker’s friends have verbally harassed her and made her feel worthless, which has contributed to her current depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation.

“I’m in pain every day, every time I see him and I feel that SIU does not care about my personal being,” Del Campo said. “I don’t want to be at school, but I have to show people that I’m tough and I can do this.”

It’s On Us, a nationwide initiative created by President Barack Obama, works to end sexual assault on college campuses. SIUC’s It’s On Us student task force, which launched in fall 2014, gathered Monday at Morris Library with five panelists and the public to discuss how to report sexual assault.

The panel consisted of Casey Parker, coordinator of the Office of Equity and Diversity, Abby Bilderback from Counseling and Psychological services, Sarah Mason from The Women’s Center in Carbondale, Carbondale Police Department crime victim advocate Susie Toliver and SIU Police Cpl. Adam Cunico.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan was invited to the event, but could not attend. Instead, Madigan sent a personalized video to the group about the importance of stopping sexual assault.

Mason said as a member of The Women’s Center her focus is survivor-minded. She informs sexual assault survivors of their options and allows them to make the decision.

“I’m never going to tell you what you should do,” Mason said. “I work with them one-on-one and my goal is to restore balance back into their lives.”

Parker said her office believes every survivor who comes in, but must consider evidence in an investigation.

There are multiple ways to help survivors of sexual assault, such as collecting evidence, conducting an investigation and offering counseling. However, there is still difficulty in convicting an attacker without reasonable doubt, Cunico said.

Del Campo said the university did not use her rape kit from the hospital or contact her friends, who were present the night she was attacked, after they gave statements to police. Parker said she could not comment on previous cases.

Del Campo wept as she told the audience that her college life has been taken away because of “this one incident,” and feels she cannot go to parties anymore without being attacked.

“Let everyone know that sexual assault is not a joke,” Del Campo said.

Cunico said his department also believes survivors, but few criminal charges are filed because of a lack of evidence.

Ninety-eight percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

“This happened in my dorm, and I don’t think I should be the one who has to move out,” Del Campo said. “After this investigation, I no longer feel safe in my dorm, and it’s not fun.”

Shannon Allen can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ShannonAllen_DE.

Advertisement

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The student news site of Southern Illinois University