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Cal Poly women raise awareness of assaults

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The Cal Poly Women's Awareness club (CPWA) wants to bring new attention to a series of assaults that occurred last year between Nov. 10 and Dec. 20. During that time, San Luis Obispo saw three attempted sexual assaults perpetrated on Cal Poly women by a stranger and the rape of another young woman.

To draw attention to these attacks and to combat the ongoing problem of sexual assaults that plague college campuses in general CPWA will hold a rally on Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at Cal Poly's University Union. Speakers from the club, Cal Poly's SAFER (a group that seeks to put an end to sexual assault through education), and the Cal Poly police department will talk about general women's safety issues and the recent assaults. At about 7:30, the group will go on a tour of the neighborhood where two of the attempted assaults took place.

Based on witnesses' descriptions and the fairly consistent manner of attack, police recently released a composite sketch of a man who may have been responsible for one or more of the assaults. Members of CPWA, however, feel that since the release of the sketch in early January, the community has largely forgotten.

One of the event organizers expressed disappointment at the level of action the university has taken.

"There's some flyer that the university police are putting up," explained Lizzy Lamotte-Mitchel, an organizer. "But I feel like there should be more done to inform people. There just hasn't been much publicity, and I talk to people all the time who don't even know about it."

A representative from the university's police department said that an official was unavailable for comment as of press time, however Lt. Steve Tolley of the SLOPD said that his department has been working closely with campus police and believes that the rally is a great way to raise awareness. He said that the police have followed up on many leads, but none have led to arrests or a suspect. Since the release of the sketch, Tolley said that there have been no new assaults to link with the other four. He theorized that the suspected assailant may have been transient, or that he's local and became scared after the sketch was released.

 

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