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New resources available for sexual violence victims at Bakersfield College

Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 21:54:17-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A new report by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, shows that sexual violence occurs on campus compared to other crimes. 

RAINN says that more than 50% of college sexual assaults occur during August through November.

Women aged 18-to-24 are at an elevated risk of sexual violence.

Bakersfield College says that they are offering students a new onsite counselor, Alyssa Olivera, from Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

"So being on campus is important because it gives us an opportunity to meet people that might not otherwise come forward," said Olivera. "Statistics say that it is often unreported so hopefully a presence here at a place they go to multiple times a week will give them the ability to report."

According to the study college-aged victims often do not report incidents to law enforcement. 

Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual assault is a non-profit that provides services and support for victims and sexual violence survivors and will now appear on campus 40 hours a week.

"We are providing new opportunities for our students to make sure their path at BC is to the best of their abilities," said Nicky Damania, director of Student Life at Bakersfield College. "Some students need extra assistance and we want to make sure that our students are being heard."

One local student says that they are grateful that their college is taking action.

"New resources are always much appreciated and so needed," said Michael Anderson, a Bakersfield College student. "A big issue that we encounter is that a lot of our great resources aren’t talked about enough so it’s important that we continue to talk and share the message."

The study states that "male college-aged students,18-24, are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault."

Olivera says that they plan to host future events to educate the community. 

"My other job is student prevention and to make sure student-faculty and staff are aware of things that count as misconduct," Olivera said. "We hope to do some by-standard intervention training here."

Anderson had this message to say to his classmates.

"You are not alone I think that’s the most important thing," Anderson said. "Regardless of what’s happening whether it's educational, harassment, or personal you are not alone in it."

Bakersfield College wants to remind students that if they need someone to talk to they can reach out to their new counselor at this email advocate@bakersfieldcollege.edu.