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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sexual assaults plague areas surrounding the UA

Reports of sexual assaults have affected north-side residences neighboring the UA.

According to a crime map on the Tucson Police Department’s website, there have been two reports of sex-related offenses in the neighborhood to the southeast of Mountain Avenue and Grant Road in the last 30 days. The reports came within days of each other, with the first on Oct. 18 and the second on Oct. 22.

There have also been three other reported incidents of sexual assault east of Campbell Avenue between Grant Road and Speedway Boulevard.

One of the causes of this recent increase of sexual assaults could be the lack of prominent lighting around Mountain Avenue and Grant Road neighborhoods according to a police report. Allison Childress, a political science and economics junior who lives in the area in which the assaults occurred, said the area isn’t well-lit.

“I try to stick to Mountain as much as possible, just because I like having the street light,” Childress said. “Not being able to see far in front of you, even with a flashlight, definitely doesn’t make you feel very safe.”

While Childress said she wouldn’t deem the area unsafe, she said she has felt unsafe at times. Childress explained a particular incident in which a man, whom she described to be in his late 30s, trespassed onto her property and was watching her.

Childress called TPD, but the man left before police arrived. According to Childress, the responding officer told her that there were several attempted abductions around her area.

Nearby, in the Grant and Mountain neighborhood around the 1000 block of E. Seneca St., there was an attempted sexual assault on Sept. 26, according to a news release from TPD. The suspect forced entry into the victim’s home before fleeing once her roommate was alerted.

These types of crime do not seem isolated to this particular neighborhood.

“From what the police officers said, they kind of made it seem like it wasn’t uncommon to have men lurking around sorority houses or houses where girls live,” Childress said.

Last year, Childress lived at The District on 5th student apartments near Fourth Avenue, and said that she felt a similar atmosphere there as in her current residence.

Childress said she felt “pretty unsafe” where she lived last year, and that she has friends living south of campus who have had experiences similar to her own.

According to the City of Tucson’s crime map, in the last 30 days there have also been sex offenses reported south of campus on Park Avenue and Drachman Street, as well as on Jacobus Avenue and Second Street.

“If you go south or west, even on Fourth Avenue, I would hear stories of catcalling and men following girls for a little bit home,” Childress said.

Even though she doesn’t think that sexual assault incidents are isolated particularly to her neighborhood, Childress said that her experiences there have contributed to her decision to look for another area to live next year. She wants to live in an area that is better lit and doesn’t feel as “isolated.”

Regardless of what neighborhood a person lives in, there are steps that one can take to feel safer.

TPD has offered several pieces of advice in its Nov. 6 media release about the Seneca Street attempted sexual assault. TPD urges individuals to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and to “get to know [their] neighbors and look out for one another.”

Follow Ava Garcia on Twitter.

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