TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - More than 150 Indiana State University women may be the victimof a rape or an attempted rape this school year.
That's according to a nationwide study. But in 2009, only twoassaults were reported to the ISU Department of Public Safety.
It's a crime that gripped the ISU campus a few months ago.Student Erin Conley claimed she was raped by a stranger in her dormroom.
"Now whoever i pass on campus or wherever i feel like they couldattack me too," said Conley at the time.
But it turned out to be a lie. Conley pled guilty to falseinforming.
However, there are real victims walking the streets andsidewalks of ISU. Just how many real victims may astound you. In anationwide study funded by the Justice Department, of the 5,500women at ISU there's perhaps as many as 200 rapes or rape attemptsevery year. That's enough to fill an entire section of the Hulmancenter.
ISU graduate student Gwen is not one of the hidden statistics.Almost three years ago, Gwen was sexually assaulted when she was anundergrad student at a university in another state.
"He came up from behind," said Gwen. "I didn't see it untilit was too late."
Gwen was in a state of shock for a week. Other side effects havebeen longer lasting. She still gets nervous sometimes walking byherself at night on campus. She sought out the help and support ofher friends and a counselor. Plus she pressed charges against herattacker.
"I wonder how those people who don't report it feel because Ireported it and I still feel lonely," said Gwen. "I can't imagineit, not reporting."
Just a few months ago, she found out her attacker had beenreleased from parole, after serving just three months in jail.
"heartbreaking," said Gwen. "It's heartbreaking to know that hewas free to do whatever he wanted."
Knowing it's now on his record is what helps her get through theanger and heartbreak. Knowing there are other real victims atIndiana State is what makes her want to share her story.
Gwen asked that we not use her last name because of the stigmastill associated with being a survivor of an assault.
In part two, News 10 will take a look at that stigma and all thedata to see how I-S-U stacks up nationwide, and what can be done tomake it safer.
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