COPY-Reported assault concerns U of I students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

COPY-Reported assault concerns U of I students

By Bryan Goettel

Iowa City (KWWL) -- When the number of reported sexual assaults in Iowa City began to go up a couple of years ago, women at the university were quick to take notice.

"Honestly I choose not to walk at night because I don't feel that safe considering last year I lived down on Dodge and there were many rapes in the beginning of the year," says University of Iowa junior Tiffany Lustig.

Senior Caitlin Crispin agrees.  "I used to feel totally safe," Crispin says.  "I mean it's Iowa City, I should be safe."

About a year ago, the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety implemented the Nite Ride program, one of several responses to the rise in assaults. The program offers free rides for women at night around campus and here in downtown.

"I feel like they have taken steps to try and improve their system with the Nite Ride and everything else they've implemented, but at the same time it still scares me," says Lustig.  "It's still in the back of my mind all the time."

It's moved to the front of many minds after a report early Sunday morning that a woman escaped an attempted assault in an alley off of Linn Street.

"I was kinda surprised," says junior Anna Schmitz.  "But then again not really because of all the attacks that happened last year, kinda disappointed it's starting again especially with football season and it's nice out, everyone's walking at night."

"It's just scary to think that this is Iowa City and this is happening every weekend," says Crispin.

That's why Crispin is one of many women here who make a point of never walking at night alone.


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