Students protest sexual assault on campus


Emily Dvareckas/The Hawks' Herald

Taylor Child opened the protest with statistics about sexual assault.

Content Warning: This article contains information regarding sexual assault.

One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. About 3% of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, many current and former students have voiced their concerns about RWU’s handling of rape and sexual assault allegations, and feel that their concerns are not being heard. On Friday, April 8 junior biology major Taylor Child organized a modestly sized protest in front of the library in order to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus.

“I know several people who have been sexually assaulted,” said Child when asked why she organized the protest. “People started talking more about what had happened to them on Roger, and how it wasn’t necessarily handled in a safe way, and I wanted to get people talking.”

Child also expressed interest in getting the RWU Student Senate involved in order to figure out what can be done from a legal standpoint. “I understand it is difficult to just remove someone from campus, but I do believe everyone’s safety comes first,” said Child.

Those attending the protest shared similar sentiments. “I thought it’d be really important to show out and show the campus we’re not going to stand for this,” said first year criminal justice major Charlene Wood. Wood also believes that RWU should work with the police department rather than just on campus security. “I think there needs to be better protocol. I know that a lot of colleges, whenever they get situations of sexual assault, they like to push it off, they like to have their own school security look into it, and a lot of the times it gets thrown to the side and not looked at,” said Wood.

The protest also acknowledged that BIPOC women are disproportionately more likely to be sexually assaulted compared to white women.

President of the RWU Women of Color Club (WOCC) sophomore International Relations major Amanda DaCruz attended the protest to show support for other women. “I felt like as the president of such a group, it only made sense to not only support the women who were part of my group, but also encourage other women to support each other as well,” said DaCruz. DaCruz also believes the university’s Title IX policy needs to be looked at. “There needs to be more accountability when it comes to predators on this campus,” she said.

Child, as the organizer of the protest, had a strong message for the administration. “You need to prioritize keeping your students safe, because we pay a lot of money to go here…you tell me that you want to be the university for the future, you’ve got to let me get my education safely and comfortably,” Child said.

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, the national sexual assault hotline is 1-800-656-4673, and the statistics used in this article came from, which provides resources, consulting and help for those who have been raped or assaulted.


Bristol Police Department: (401) 253-6900 (24/7)
Day One Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center: (401) 421-4100


RWU Title IX Coordinator

Dr. Jen Stanley, Title IX Coordinator and Associate Dean | Contact: [email protected] or (401) 254-3123

Health Services: (401) 254-3156

Counseling Center: (401) 254-3124

Public Safety: (401) 254-3333 (24/7)