Group gives voice to victims of sexual assault

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Thu, May 8 2014 at 10:30 PM, Updated: Fri, May 9 2014 at 2:25 PM

Eugene, Ore.--  Hundreds of University of Oregon students rallied in outrage Thursday. Outrage stemming from allegations that three U of O basketball players sexually assaulted a woman at a party. And over reports that the campus kept quiet while police investigated.

The Lane County district attorney said there was not enough evidence to file charges against the players. But universities can take disciplinary action. 

At Southern Oregon University students said they hope their school would step in. 

"I would like to think that that would not happen here that our administration would not allow that to happen," said Oneta Cantlon. 

SOU has a group for sexual assault victims. It's called Violence Prevention and Response Advocates or VIPRA. 

One of the advocates, Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble said, "There's a lot of stigma in being a victim and reporting an incident that's happened to you."

Trueblood-Gamble and Anjela Fleischer are just two of ten advocates. They're the go-between the victim and the school and or police. 

"It allows us to facilitate them to have some sort of contact with law enforcement if that's what they chose right off the bat," said Fleischer.  

At U of O protesters said the school's silence allowed bad behavior to happen. Silence the advocates at SOU said they're working to eliminate by helping victims get the help they deserve.

"Because not every person whose a victim of a situation feels comfortable of going through a process that may or may not work out in their favor. Sometimes they just need support," said Trueblood-Gamble.

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About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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