Sexual Assaults at Johns Hopkins (potentially under-reported)

<p>*First, I would simply like to state that this post is in no way my attempt to sensationalize events or wrongfully slander the University, but as a current student at Hopkins and one who has had friends closely affected by these events (during the time that there were, purportedly, "zero" sexual assaults), I feel a strong need to make this information available to potential applicants and students considering attending, that they may be able to make an informed decision based on the facts. I found the admissions department and various reporting entities of the University to be entirely non-forthcoming with regards to these statistics during the course of my application or time here as a student. I feel that it is time to change that for those who may attend in the future.</p>

<p>If anyone has a question that I have not answered here, please reply (preferable to private messaging, as in this way, everyone will be able to see the question and my response), and I will do my best to get you the appropriate information and sources.*</p>

<p>Quote from an e-mail sent out to students this morning:</p>

<p>"This morning, shortly after 1 a.m., a Johns Hopkins student was sexually assaulted in the alley known as Lovegrove Street behind the 3200 block of North Charles Street (between 32nd and 33rd streets)."</p>

<p>I'm including a map of precisely where this happened because I feel it is pertinent. It is less than half a block away from the sophomore residence halls (Charles Commons), the bookstore, and the local dining establishments such as the Starbucks, Coldstone, and Subway. Furthermore, it is the alleyway directly behind many of the Hopkins fraternity houses. The incident happened on an early Saturday morning, when JHU security detail should supposedly be at its highest alert, given that most students choose to party on Friday or Saturday nights. </p>

<p>

<a href="http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/6775/incidentmap.png%5B/img%5D"&gt;http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/6775/incidentmap.png

</a></p>

<p>I would further urge you to consult Until</a> It's Zero, a website dedicated to accurate reporting of JHU sexual assaults statistics since, per the website:</p>

<p>"From 2007 to 2009, JHU reported ZERO incidents of sexual assault or rape. While we would love for this to be the case, we know it’s not. 1 in 4 college women and 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted or raped. Due to under-reporting, especially among male survivors, the incidence may in fact be higher."</p>

<p>Another photo showing the proximity of the attack to campus.</p>

<p><a href="http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/7472/incidentlocation.png%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/7472/incidentlocation.png&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>My thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved. And yes, of course, these things do tend to happen in urban college locations despite the colleges' best efforts to prevent them. However, I just think that you should be aware of these occurrences for your own safety if you choose to attend. One must be hyper-vigilant, I believe, in Baltimore, compared to some other urban areas when it comes to personal safety.</p>

<p>Thanks for sharing. It is the same on every campus in the country. A student can become lulled into a false sense of security due to campus life. Even the photo captions is a bit unfair "where was security". Campus police are very present at jhu (I hope you agree), and in the area in question, will provide students rides to the dorms if requested.
No one deserves to be assaulted (sexual or otherwise) on campus, but taking precautions is important. This is true on every campus. I do not think JHU is any less safe than any other school in the country, urban or otherwise. In fact, with the low level of hard drinking and hard partying, my guess is that the actual rate of assault is lower than on most campuses. Also, like all campuses, sexual assault goes unreported a good bit of time. Consider that sooner or later most people on campus will know the persons identity, and then will begin to question his/her role in the assault (were you drunk? Why were you alone? Why didn't you fight? Why didn't you scream?) and somehow imply they were partially responsible. If there are repercussions to the feats due to this, some students will vilify the person that was hurt.</p>

<p>So, as a parent, thank you for sharing this. As a parent, also, I hope you will support the victim.</p>

<p>Feats=Frats.</p>

<p>You are sounding mean. Let me know in the next three and a half years you're at Hopkins if you find yourself walking the back way out of wawa or pike, because that's where this happened. People make mistakes, and you should not blame the victim for being a victim. It could have happened to anyone, and we are all lucky this girl came out of it with only minor injuries. You should really think about what you said, and realize that it could have been you. This is the point where Hopkins students need to come together, not blame other people for this terrible thing that has happened.</p>

<p>I agree with brainzany. It's not to sound mean, but raise a red flag about these situations. It's very easy to "turn-off" someone that would potentially harass you: walk in well-lit areas, pick your boogers, bring a friend. The possibilities / alternatives are limitless.</p>

<p>candle and brain:</p>

<p>Yes, a person can make bad decisions and yes a person can place themselves in harms way, but that does not mean that person deserves to be assaulted......</p>

<p>You cross streets every day. Do you deserve to be hit by a car?
You might occasionally cross where there is not crosswalk. Do you deserve to be hit by a car?
You might even cross without looking fully both ways. Do you deserve to be hit by a car?</p>

<p>Do not blame the victim. Even if he were dead-drunk, staggering from one frat to another, he does not deserve to be sexually assaulted. He makes a mistake, people make mistakes all the time. Just put it in the right perspective.</p>

<p>calm down. we did not say she deserved it. the op seemed to have been blaming the jhu security when in reality it's senseless to think they could prevent assaults in dark areas, etc. never did I blame the victim; read my post again.</p>

<p>"I agree with brainzany. It's not to sound mean, but raise a red flag about these situations. It's very easy to "turn-off" someone that would potentially harass you: walk in well-lit areas, pick your boogers, bring a friend. The possibilities / alternatives are limitless."</p>

<p>"calm down. we did not say she deserved it. the op seemed to have been blaming the jhu security when in reality it's senseless to think they could prevent assaults in dark areas, etc. never did I blame the victim; read my post again."</p>

<p>Well, if as you say, it's very easy to avoid being harassed by simply walking in well-lit areas (without the help of security, as you say), and security also cannot prevent assaults in dark areas, where it's supposedly "not very easy" to avoid being assaulted, then what can they do?</p>

<p>Also, how is asserting that the victim somehow made an "unintelligent" decision (as "the possibilities / alternatives are limitless") anything but victim-blaming? NOTHING makes someone "deserve" to get assaulted, whether that's being drunk, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing "revealing" clothing, walking in an unsafe area, etc. What I am saying is that though people call this a "dark alley," it's a city-block long stretch between two major roads less than a quarter mile from an 11-story student dorm building. It's not some alley out on Greenmount ave. or in East Baltimore. </p>

<p>Brainzany — was this particular alley one that the security people told you in their little beginning-of-the-year presentation not to go through? If so, I'd be shocked. Think about where it is in proximity to everything else. It would be like saying "don't walk through the tunnel under Gilman at night" or something, when you consider how many University-owned buildings and student-populated apartments border the alleyway. </p>

<p>Perhaps I am not blaming security, but what I am saying is that lighting for said alleyway would be a paltry sum. installing a campus security box would also be a paltry sum, and posting a single security person in that area (especially since it is behind so many frat houses) would take nothing. No, security cannot stop everything, but if you're like me brainzany, at the beginning you're told that the security is headed up by some post-CIA director and you're assured that safety is paramount, that there are hundreds of cameras, etc. Perhaps I'm not giving them enough credit for threats that they have diffused before they have caused harm (yet, one would think those would be announced on the security page since it looks good for security), but to me there seems to be a large gap between what is promised and what is delivered.</p>

<p>do NOT blame a third party that is there to HELP you, not to be under absolute terms in preventing you from unfortunate incidents. what you SHOULD have said was, </p>

<p>"an unfortunate incident occurred at said place by said person. please be warned of this said place, said person. security may not be as tight here, and said person has a history... etc."</p>

<p>try to prevent something from happening again, good.
blame a third party that is only there to HELP, you, the students, illogical. REQUEST a security to be there, do not blame them. if they are requested to be there, but are not showing up, then now you can blame them, although there is the option of not going there altogether. </p>

<p>security didn't see it, the girl did something she didn't even know could make her vulnerable, there was a sexual predator in the alleyway. </p>

<p>the fault is of the sexual predator. it's OBVIOUS the fault is of the sexual predator. minor, un-BLAME-able faults lie in the security and the girl. i hope that makes things clear.</p>

<p>I am not going to get into a debate or discussion about the majority of issues raised here, but I feel like some important points need to be stated, especially since the original poster stated this:</p>

<p>
[QUOTE]
I found the admissions department and various reporting entities of the University to be entirely non-forthcoming with regards to these statistics during the course of my application or time here as a student. I feel that it is time to change that for those who may attend in the future.

[/QUOTE]
</p>

<p>I was off-campus the last two weeks on recruitment travel so I could not initially speak directly about this incident and how it impacted students. However, since getting back I spoke with a number of students I know well and more importantly spoke with some top officials in security and student life. Just so all sides are presented, here are a few points I think prospective students also need to be aware of.</p>

<p>1) A message was sent to all Hopkins students as soon as the information was available, and all students were informed of the attack. (I will post the full message below.) Not sure how that can be construed as the University hiding information? </p>

<p>2) One needs to do some research about the reporting regulations before attacking the administration. The Campus Safety and Security office must follow strict guidelines in presenting crime information in the annual report set forth by the Clery Act (Clery</a> Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The requirement is to report crimes that occur on campus or contiguous to campus. The incident occurred in the rear of the Jefferson House Apartments across from Lovegrove Street which does not meet the definition. </p>

<p>Additionally, regarding reporting crimes to include sexual assault, Clery requires a University to collect crime statistics from "campus security authorities" which by Clery definition is a "campus police or security department, any individual(s) who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police dept. or campus security dept.; any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students or employees should report criminal offenses and an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings." This incident was reported to Baltimore City police and therefore once again due to the specific requirements of the Clery Act falls outside the reporting guidelines. </p>

<p>As well, the report of zero attacks some years doesn't mean that nothing happened to anyone, but that nothing was reported to campus security that happened on or immediately adjacent to campus. Something happening in that alley does not fit the definition. Something happening in an off-campus apartment does not meet the definition. And finally, something not reported at all, which unfortunately does occur as some vicitims opt to not report incidients to security or police. </p>

<p>3) Despite what the Clery Act may require, or what statistics show, in absolutely no way does Campus Safety or the Office of Student Life take these issues lightly. Both offices work diligently with students to protect them both on-campus and as much as possible off-campus. Both offices proivide extensive support and services for students. And when incidents occur that may not end up statistics, both offices still work extensively with students to investigate and support.</p>

<p>4) Finally, the original post alludes to a conclusion one should make that the Admissions Office hides this information from prospective students. As an admissions professional at Johns Hopkins University now for 9 years I am offended by such claims of how I and my colleagues conduct ourselves. Whenever asked a direct question about crime on-campus, in the surrounding areas, or throughout Baltimore I am forthright, honest, and quite clear in my responses. I do not hide information, and I often explain that campus security reports never paint a full picture. Our tour guides are instructed to provide their own personal assessments of safety and security issues, and are in no way instructed by our office to cover-up any details. I have been here at Hopkins during times when we dealt with the unfortunate murders of two of our students, during times when students have been victims of hit-and-run accidents, and I had a student worker of mine who I was quite close to disclose to me she was a victim of sexual assault. My colleagues and I take these issues very seriously, and in no way do we avoid providing prospective students and their families accurate details of our experiences living in the Hopkins community. </p>

<p>I was deeply saddened to hear about this assault, and I do hope the victim is getting the support from her friends that she needs. I am confident that the University is providing her with the support that she needs. But please do not use such an incident to throw baseless claims against the University and Admissions Office. </p>

<p>
[QUOTE]

Dear Students,</p>

<p>This morning, shortly after 1 a.m., a Johns Hopkins student was sexually assaulted in the alley known as Lovegrove Street behind the 3200 block of North Charles Street (between 32nd and 33rd streets).</p>

<p>Thankfully, she sustained only minor physical injuries. We are offering her whatever support and assistance she needs in the days and weeks to come.</p>

<p>Baltimore City police are investigating the assault. The suspect is described as a male, 20 to 30 years of age, between 6 feet and 6 feet, 2 inches, tall; black with medium complexion, and wearing a navy blue and black hoodie sweatshirt.</p>

<p>If you saw any such person in the area early this morning or have any other information that may pertain to this crime, please call Detective Monica Alston of the Baltimore police Sex Crimes Unit at 410-396-2076.</p>

<p>Police and Johns Hopkins Security will be patrolling the area with extra vigilance. If you must walk outside late at night, we urge you, as always:
- not to walk alone
- to remain in well-lit areas, preferably with substantial pedestrian traffic
- to be aware of open businesses or other places you could go if you are concerned about someone acting suspiciously
- to be aware of your surroundings at all times</p>

<p>Other tips for staying safe while walking are available online at Campus</a> Safety & Security: Crime Prevention Tips </p>

<p>Please keep our student in your thoughts, and please protect yourself by remaining vigilant, especially while walking at night.</p>

<p>Sincerely,</p>

<p>Susan Boswell
Dean of Student Life</p>

<p>Edmund Skrodzki
Executive Director, Campus Safety and Security

[/QUOTE]
</p>

<p>Well put Admissions Daniel. The original poster is looking for people to blame at JHU. Not sure why.</p>

<p>I like how the original poster says they he's in no way trying to tarnish the reputation at Hopkins and then bashes both the security and admissions departments... Also, isn't the fact that heard of the sexual assault kind of refute your claim that Hopkins is hiding things?</p>

<p>Finally, no one hides the fact the Baltimore is a very dangerous city. The JHU Security is extremely good (it was ranked #1 last year in Reader's Digest) but they can't be everywhere all the time. While I don't blame the girl for getting assaulted (it's never the victim's fault) I do have to point out that Johns Hopkins Security offers a mandatory security walk for all freshmen to show the more dangerous areas near campus and provide safety tips (e.g walk in groups and in well lit ares). In fact, Lovegrove was one of the alleys that the Security guide warned us to be wary about. Unfortunately, many students skip this security walk. We could have 5 times as many police in this area but the fact remains that Baltimore is a dangerous city and you have to show some sense- don't walk in poorly lit areas by yourself... it's just not going to be safe.</p>

<p>Both clear and informative responses, @AdmissionsDaniel and @AAustin.
Thank you for them.</p>

<p>how does one get the actual sexual assault statistics for a certain university? please, time is of the essence right now. any advice would help. statistics seem to remain under lock and key. thanks.</p>

<p>To the prospective students and the prospective students' parents reading this thread,
The City of Baltimore can certainly be a dangerous place and any student at Hopkins should be conscious of that, but don't let stories like this scare you into thinking that the campus is a danger zone. Hopkins' security really is excellent. They have a lot of people out keeping watch over the area 24/7. They keep a tight watch over the campus and manage to do it without making the environment unfriendly for students. They're vigilant, professional, helpful, and the vast majority of them are very nice, friendly people, too.</p>

<p>Obviously this event was horrifying and I'm sorry for what happened to the victim. It was always my experience, though, that the university made the safety of its students the highest priority.</p>

<p>So, if you choose to go to Hopkins, be aware of your surroundings, and try not to shrug off the safety tips that security will give you when you get there. But don't panic. I loved living in the Hopkins neighborhood and generally felt safe there. I went out at night, had fun, explored Baltimore, and except for that time that I thought it was a good idea to walk home from Penn Station at 2AM (it wasn't,) I never had any fear for my safety beyond the basic awareness that one should always have in an urban environment.</p>