FSU Promotes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Unfortunately, rape suspects are not always caught, and Tallahassee police officers say a lot of the times it's because the crime goes unreported.

April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Police say they want the public to be aware of sexual crimes and what they can do to help stop the violence.

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America someone is sexually assaulted.

The Tallahassee Police Department set up an information table Wednesday at Florida State University. Officers say the campus is the perfect place to kick off their campaign.

OFC Maria Mercurio of TPD Crime Prevention says, "Especially here in Tallahassee, with it being a high student population, most of our sexual assaults are date related. They're also affiliated with drinking, a lot of alcohol and drug usage."

Police say the goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to spread the word on possible dangers and how to protect yourself. They say always being aware of your surroundings is their biggest piece of advice.

Trevor Stewart, an FSU student, says, "Be aware when you go out and drink. It's all good and fun, but make sure to take care of yourself. You might not know what's going on. If you don't, make sure you have good friends around you that can take care of you."

Officers say they also want to let victims know that reporting the crime can help them and help prevent future assaults.

Jerome Walters, also an FSU student, adds, "There are people you can talk to on campus. There are advisors; there are people you can talk to. Just find a friend and don't go anywhere by yourself."

Other safety tips include: trust your instincts, lock your doors and windows and avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night.

FSU was TPD's first stop Wednesday. Police say they will be going to other campuses, malls and other locations around Tallahassee. Also, the Refuge House had a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in Bloxham Park.