President addresses issue of sexual assault: local students speak out about the issue

President addresses issue of sexual assault: local students speak out about the issue
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POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 6:34pm

With all the talk concerning sexual assaults in the area lately, local college students are speaking out about it. Presidents Barrack Obama has identified sexual assault as a big issue on college campuses and is working to combat the problem.

It's a problem that's far too common across our nation.

“I know it's a huge issue around the country,” said LSU student, Nicholas Omafuarie.

It’s something one in five women experience, especially on college campuses.

"Girls need to be aware of that it does happen and take precautions," said LSU student, Alyson Thibodeaux.

Students like Alayna Thibodeaux and her sister Alyson are pleased to hear the president is taking a stand.

"People are realizing that it is a problem on campus and someone is actually doing something about it,” said Thibodeaux.

And that's important since that 20 percent only includes those sexual assaults actually reported. Experts say they know the problem is much bigger, because so many young women never report being assaulted.

“65 percent that are not reported to la enforcement,” said LSU Police Capt. Cory Lalonde.

“Some girls are just embarrassed by it or they don't want anyone to really know about it," said Thibodeaux.

LSU police say these assaults are often by someone the victim knows. It also seems as if men are even aware of the issue.

"It’s something that's been happening for awhile and something that's been getting a lot worse since society,” noted Omafuarie.

Now men and women alike are ready for some change.

"The best way to combat it is to be vocal about it on both sides."

So as the fight to curb sexual assault on campus heats up in Washington, it's important that those of us here at home do our part as well.

"The biggest steps in preventing crimes on campus as well as educating the public and educating the LSU community on what they should and should not do in certain situation,” said Cpt. Lalonde.

There were three sexual assaults reported on the LSU’s campus in 2013 and five the previous year.

The university does offer self defense programs. LSU has help available through the campus health center as well as a variety of programs such as the Lighthouse Program.

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