Attempted Sexual Assault, Dewberry Hall (Occurred November 8, 2014)

Posted: November 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

In compliance with the provisions of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1988, the George Mason University Police Department is giving notice of an attempted sexual assault.

On November 13, 2014 at approximately 10:59 a.m., the George Mason University Police Department was notified by a Campus Security Authority that a female student reported that three men attempted to sexually assault her in a hallway outside of Dewberry Hall during a late-night event on November 8, 2014.  Due to the confidentiality of reporting, limited information is available regarding this incident.

Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact Mason Police at (703) 993-2810 or by using the Crime Solvers Anonymous Tip Hot-Line at (703) 993-4111.  You can also download the free MasonWatch mobile safety application to submit information directly to the Mason Police.

Mason Police remind members of the community of the following:

  • Alcohol and drugs may impair judgment, making it difficult to notice unsafe situations and intervene to help others.  If either party is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consent cannot be given.
  • Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse, which can include sexual contact with someone who is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant that impairs their judgment.
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious people who may attempt to isolate someone who is intoxicated or has been drinking.  Bystander intervention is a known tool to help prevent campus sexual assault. Get involved if it’s safe to do so, or go to a safe area and call for help.
  • Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is sexual assault.
  • Always seek verbal, sober, and clear consent.  Immediately stop sexual advances if the other person indicates no interest or if they say “no.”  Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to another.  The absence of “no” does not mean “yes.”
  • Never pressure or coerce someone into engaging in sexual activity.
  • Approximately 75 percent of rapes are committed by acquaintances (www.rainn.org).
  • If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure or scared, call Mason Police immediately at 703-993-2810.
  • If you witness a situation that appears unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, intervene if it’s safe to do so, or go to a safe area and call for help.

Mason’s Policies on Sexual Misconduct

George Mason University’s policy on sexual misconduct can be found online at http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/sexual-harassment-policy/  or by reviewing the institutions Annual Security Report located at http://police.gmu.edu/annual-security-report/.

Mason is obligated under federal law (Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)) to investigate reports of sexual misconduct, to take action to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault, and to prevent its re-occurrence and its adverse effects.  Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination.  The university will take measures in order to protect student’s rights and personal safety.  Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of Mason living arrangements, academic accommodations, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the police department.

Reporting Sexual Assaults

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not alone.  There are people and organizations within the Mason Community here to support you and retaliation for reporting is strictly prohibited.  We encourage you to report it to the Mason Police Department.  After speaking with a specifically trained officer, a criminal investigation can begin with your consent.  Mason will also vigorously address sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct when committed by a Mason student or employee.

Reporting and support resources include:

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to share this information with other members of the community, and are asked to be aware of their surroundings, report suspicious activity to police and/or the other reporting options listed above.