Women's advocate criticizes UH sex assault safety procedures

Kathryn Xian
Kathryn Xian
Wayne Ogino
Wayne Ogino

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the 2010 academic year, there were seven sexual assault cases reported at University of Hawaii Manoa student housing. UH said they have all been addressed.

But in a letter to the UH Chancellor, women's advocate Kathryn Xian claims alleged victims aren't protected sufficiently after they file a complaint.

"We have been told when there's an allegation or investigation of sexual assault involving two students that live in the same dorm, the perpetrator is removed immediately from that dorm for the purposes of the investigation. We found out that's not true," she said.

She said a number of women contacted her about their cases.

But UH security chief Wayne Ogino said the accusations are unfounded.

"They're alleging that sexual assaults occurred and that perpetrators are allowed to live in the same building. That's definitely not true," he said.

He said if an alleged perpetrator is identified, they are separated from their accuser.

But a former dormitory resident advisor, who requested their identity be hidden because they work with UH housing, said the university doesn't ensure alleged assailants and victims are kept apart.

"Oftentimes the perpetrator will have access to the building where their survivor is staying or have access to means of getting in," she said.

Ogino said when a suspected perpetrator is identified campus security and campus housing follow guidelines.

"If it's a student who is a resident they may be evicted," he said.

But Xian wants more.

"We are urging the university administration to address this protocol and reform it for the best interests of the students," she said.

Ogino insists students are protected. But he said they become vulnerable if they ignore warnings about date rape and acquaintance rape.

Five of the seven alleged sex assault cases in 2010 involved people who knew each other.

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