MU Gets Head Start On Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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COLUMBIA - Professionals who work with victims of sexual assault are meeting on the MU campus Monday afternoon to discuss their roles and experiences in prosecutions of sexual assault cases.

A sexual assault panel will talk about how cases are investigated. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will be a part of the panel. Baker worked as the special prosecutor in the Maryville rape case. 

Columbia Detective Mike Laughlin, a sexual assault nurse examiner and law student will speak on the panel. MU's Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity Noel English will also take part in the panel.

The event will start at 1 p.m. in room 7 of Hulston Hall.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month across the U.S. MU has multiple events planned over the next weeks to raise awareness and prevention about the crime.

Halfway through the Spring semester, three sexual assaults have been reported on MU's campus. MUPD most recently reported a sexual assault incident on Sunday.

MU reported seeing an increase in on and off campus assaults during the Fall 2013 semester.

Students received alerts about these crimes through "Clery Releases" via email.

The city of Columbia reported the highest number of forcible rapes in more than 20 years during 2013. The Columbia Police Department told KOMU 8 News the FBI recently changed the definition of forcible rape, making it broader.