(WIAT)– An online article about a former University of Alabama student who said she was sexually assaulted by a prominent man in Tuscaloosa, was refused legal recourse, and then committed suicide has gotten nationwide attention and sparked attention all over the university’s campus.
The attention has also made its way to Not On My Campus, a group which works toward sexual assault prevention and awareness. NOMC is nationwide, but the Tuscaloosa chapter only started a few years ago. The group’s officers say since the article, which was published on Buzzfeed, became public, they’ve received many more messages on their social media accounts, many of them from alumni and parents of current students.
“People are just really interested in seeing what we can do to help them, seeing what they can do to support us and helping,” said Ashley Rolling, the Not On My Campus secretary. “They want to know more about the SANE program we’re trying to implement as well.”
SANE stands for sexual assault nurse examiner. The group has started a GoFundMe to try to get the program started in Tuscaloosa, the first of its kind.
“We’re the only sec school that doesn’t have a sane program, so we’re behind,” said Callie Dunn, the group’s vice president.
After the Buzzfeed article was published, though, they began getting more visits and donations on that GoFundMe page. While still far short of their $125,000 goal, they raised $1,000 in seven hours. They hope to continue the momentum into the fall, when students come back to campus.
“We ideally would like to see this as something that’s separate from the hospital. A group of volunteers that are all trained in this, so it’s not the hospital’s thing. They have their own personal, their own advocate,” Dunn said.
The University of Alabama released a statement, condemning portions of the Buzzfeed article as inaccurate and saying that victims of sexual assault do have resources on campus.
You can find out more about the GoFundMe campaign at Click here to support Fund SANE program at UA organized by Madeline Anscombe.