Carbondale group works to prevent rape

By Shannon Allen, @ShannonAllen_DE

Rape and sexual assault numbers continue to grow in the U.S., especially on college campuses, according to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

The CRCC reported one in four college women will be raped or sexually assaulted in her academic career. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 80 percent of sexual assaults on campuses are not reported to the police. 

Universities across the country are installing better lighting around campuses, educating students on the matter of sexual assault and having effective residence hall security systems and escort services implemented, according to the Rape Treatment Center, a national organization that provides treatment, prevention and education programs about rape.



SIUC installed brightway paths around campus and requires all incoming students to do Consent & Respect training. The university also requires all incoming employees to do Federal Compliance Training, in which employees are informed about their responsibilities under the Clery Act, Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act.

From 2010-2012, 31 forcible sexual assaults were reported at SIU, including on and off-campus property, according to Clery Act crime statistics.

The Consent Party, started by Katie Wagner of Carbondale and Cassandra Daniels of Pinckneyville, is an anti-rape/sexual assault group in Carbondale that seeks to inform women and men of all ages of ways to prevent rape.

The eight-person group also listens to people’s personal experiences with rape and sexual assault.

“Our goal is to promote consent and talk about what we can do as individuals to protect ourselves,” Wagner said. “Consent is sexy and it’s also required.”

To avoid rape and sexual assault, the Consent Party suggests walking home with a friend at night, using words and body language to communicate feeling uneasy, and being aware of surroundings. 

On top of discussing ways sexual assault can be stopped, the Consent Party has also been raising money to donate drink coasters that detect Ketamine — better known as a date rape drug — to Carbondale bars. If a drink with the drug in it is spilled on the coasters, they will change color, alerting the person their beverage was drugged. They have already raised $117 for these coasters, which are 85 cents a piece.

“It’s our duty to look out for each other,” Wagner said. “If we’re not, then who is?”

The Consent Party meets at Flyover Infoshop at 214 N. Washington St. at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays for all who are interested in joining this group. 

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