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‘I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’: Mother of sexual assault victim starts petition to protect other students

<i>WRAL</i><br/>The mother of a sexual assault victim at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has started a petition to protect other students from attacks in the future.
WRAL
WRAL
The mother of a sexual assault victim at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has started a petition to protect other students from attacks in the future.

By Julian Grace

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    CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (WRAL) — The mother of a sexual assault victim at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has started a petition to protect other students from attacks in the future. As of Tuesday night, the petition has been signed nearly 2,000 times.

Her son gave her permission to share his story with WRAL News, because he doesn’t want this to happen to someone else. She said she is so proud of her son for being brave enough to share his story.

It was quiet night outside Carmichael Residence Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, but what happened inside that building on a Saturday just after 5 p.m. is a reason to be alarmed. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else male or female,” the mother said. “This has completely caught myself and family off guard and it is devastating.” On Saturday between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m., while most students were on fall break, the mother said a man followed her son to his room and sexually assaulted him.

Police started an investigation, but it took nearly five hours for a campus alert to go out, leaving some students unsettled.

“It makes me feel less safe in my own dorm and more watchful of my surroundings,” said one student.

The Mother did not want to share her name with WRAL News, but she is petitioning online to start the conversation that something needs to be done to prevent this from happening again on campus.

“Is there something more the university to can do for safety? I think the simple answer is yes,” said the mother. “Do I know what that is? No I don’t.” It’s unclear if the student knew the man or if the man was a student. Police said he was a 6 feet tall and in his late 20s to early 30s.

University leaders asked students to take the following safety precautions:

Keep your suite and room doors locked at all times. Call UNC Police immediately if you see any suspicious activity. The UNC Police Department is available 24 hours a day by calling 911 in an emergency or  919-962-8100 for non-emergency assistance. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe and are able to do so, get to a safe place and call for help.  Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you.

According to a national survey conducted in 2019, more than one in three women who were undergraduates at UNC Chapel Hill report having been sexually assaulted.

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