News Digest | October 14, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

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News - October 14, 2022

News Digest

Woman raped in basement at Stanford

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Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 9, 2022 at 2:35 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

When a victim at a Stanford building doesn't want to give a statement to Stanford, I get the feeling the person may be afraid that Stanford might turn this into another Brock Turner incident, where the victim is blamed for being vulnerable. This could be a serial rapist, for all anybody knows. Stanford seems quick to report it to possibly pre-emptively show their concern. Without any information about the assailant or what building this happened in, this does seem like CYA instead of being sensitive to the victim. I hope she reported this to police with a lawyer in tow.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2022 at 3:16 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Victims were blamed for rape long before Brock Turner, but I understand the point MyFeelz is making. A physical description was reported by the mandatory reporter, and you can find it on the Daily Post.

Stanford seems to have a disproportionate number of rapes, or they're reported more often. I hope she's okay. So sad.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 9, 2022 at 7:46 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Jennifer, from the article in the other paper that description is from an August 10 incident. But it does sound similar, as far as being dragged to another room and assaulted. This could actually be a serial rapist but odd that both incidents, the victims did not want to report it. This to me seems like they definitely don't want to get raked over the coals and be subjected to a lifetime of stigma, while the rapist gets a six month sentence.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2022 at 8:08 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

MyFeelz, the description is from an August 10 incident. My point was I believe it's the same suspect. Rapes happen, but to be dragged and raped within a couple of months at the same University is a pattern.

A serial rapist is a possibility, but I don't think it's odd that women don't report rape. A lot of rapes go unreported, and being a woman, it's understandable. Stay safe ladies.

Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 10, 2022 at 10:49 am

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

I teach the Self-Defense course at Stanford University. It is my hope that all colleges/universities will someday soon include some self-defense training as part of freshman orientation. I am pushing for it at Stanford. In my classes at Stanford this past week, I spoke about the importance of mental/emotional health being a part of self-defense. I hope this woman is getting the support she needs.

Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2022 at 11:37 am

Green Gables is a registered user.

It is unfortunate that Stanford does not give a flying fig about their employees, and I've heard it from more than one employee. The instructors and students are a different story.

Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 10, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

@Green Gables: I have had three different staff groups reach out to me today, asking about setting up self-defense training. I am hoping the administration will approve these. As many people in our community know, I have made my life about keeping people safe, happy and healthy, whether it be teaching Karate and self-defense as a profession, volunteering in the mental health field or volunteering with our other community members on disaster prep or donating blood/platelets (donation #138 this week! :-) ), I am always doing what I can to help. If you know someone else interested in getting self-defense training, please have them reach out to me. And if they are staff at Stanford, please ask them to reach out to the administration to approve it. We are all in this together. I may eventually be out of a job if our community becomes as safe as I'd like it to be. And then I'd be happy to retire! :-)

Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2022 at 3:12 am

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

Self defense training is essential. My sister, 7 years older, took self defense training as a frosh at University of Wisconsin. Then she came back on numerous weekends and taught it to 11 year old me. My brother (6 years older, 6 foot 1) let me practice on him. This was life changing. I have defended myself successfully on many occasions. Moreover, I the fact that I rarely if ever *fear men* has made me safer (although, I'll be honest, there are some men who simply want to be feared by women -- more than one would imagine).

That said, self defense is not enough. It appears that this woman was caught off guard. If the assailant is armed with a gun, there is little one can do. Knee to groin + fingers to eyes always < bullet in body, anywhere.

There are new ways to prevent serial assault, but universities have shown little interest in them. For example, for decades, experts have shown evidence that sexual assault often is a repeat crime. Rape statistics are so high in college campuses not because 1/4th of all male students are rapists, but rather because repeat rapists are able to assault numerous victims before they are (if ever) stopped. Because of the tendency for rapists to repeat, victims can enter names or descriptions into a database anonymously, and then once an assailant has been reported a certain number of times (using controls to ensure different reporters), then an investigation can be done with a greater amount of confidence. Taking out a serial assailant can prevent many future assaults. There's more to these systems than I am saying. I think colleges should explore these tools. The current approach is failing.

Also, the majority of sexual assault is done by someone familiar to the victim, rather than by an anonymous stranger. So if these were stranger assaults, that should set off red flags.

Finally, I think that sometimes we hear nothing more because Stanford can be quick with cash settlement offers that come with the requirement of silence.

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