Sentencing in assault case highlights campus resource needs

By Jessenya Guerra
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After two years, 22-year-old Ruben Matthew Rodriguez has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after sexually assaulting a former California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) student. The victim has remained anonymous for her privacy and is being referred to as Jane Doe. The suspect was found and arrested in Chico, Calif. in July 2016. Rodriguez was charged with one count of first degree burglary and one count of forcible penetration.

In 2016, when the assault happened, there were 13 on campus rapes reported, according to CSUMB’s 2017 annual security report.

In the wake of this event, The Lutrinae would like to share some information about resources on campus that students have access to, the main resource being the campus advocate. “You do not have report to receive help from the campus advocate. The campus advocate can help you gain access to resources and services regardless of whether you report or not”, this is a direct statement from csumb.edu/campusadvocate along with the following information.

“Because every person and situation is unique, the services below are some examples of what the campus advocate can help with. The campus advocate is here to support survivors throughout their college career. If you have any questions or need help with something that is not on the list below, don’t be afraid to reach out!”

“All services provided by the campus advocate are privileged and confidential. This means that no information given to the campus advocate is shared with anyone including CSUMB employees unless the survivor gives permission for the campus advocate to do so. These are just some of the possible services that the campus advocate can provide: academic and housing accommodations, crisis intervention, referrals to both on campus and off campus resources such as counseling or legal support, help in making a report to law enforcement or Title IX, medical exam, accompaniment, and legal advocacy.”

Another resource offered by the school is the Rape Aggression Defense or R.A.D. program. The 2017 annual security report says this about R.A.D., “Courses are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors and provide course participants with a workbook/reference manual. At CSUMB, both women’s Basic Physical Defense and men’s Resisting Aggression with Defense courses are offered every semester.”

“The Basic Physical Defense course is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. The class is offered to female (assigned, transgender, identify-as) CSUMB students, staff and faculty at no cost.”

“Resisting Aggression with Defense provides participants with the opportunity to: raise their awareness of aggressive behavior, recognize how aggressive behavior impacts their lives, learn steps to avoid aggressive behavior, consider how they can be part of reducing aggression and violence, and practice hands-on self-defense skills to resist and escape aggressive behavior directed toward them. This program is designed to empower participants to make safer choices when confronted with aggressive behavior. The class is offered to male (assigned, transgender, identify-as) CSUMB students, staff and faculty at no cost.”

The first R.A.D. of the semester for women is Monday, September 17 through Wednesday, September 19 from 6–9 p.m. The first R.A.D. for men of the semester is to be determined.

For more information on R.A.D. and the offered course, visit csumb.edu/rad.

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