On May 3, in the late afternoon, a female student was walking to her car in the social science parking structure when two men whom she did not recognize started to follow her. After accidentally dropping her keys, one of the men pushed her up against her car with his forearm and fondled her through her clothing. Unable to free herself from his grasp, the student started to scream. Then the men deserted the scene on foot.
Despite the UCI Police Department’s efforts to catch the two subjects, they have not been found. There have not been similar attacks as far as the UCIPD know.
While the case did not involve repeat sexual assaulters, it was one of the increasing numbers of sexual assault cases reported this year. UC Irvine Campus Assault Resources and Education is the primary resource for sexual assault victims. The number of cases where students, staff and faculty utilize CARE has increased 180 percent this year.
At CARE approximately 90 percent of the sexual assault cases involve drugs or alcohol. The rate of binge drinking and its negative consequences has increased since 2003 at UCI and the reported rate of sexual assault under the influence is three times as high as the reported national rate.
With the increase in the number of sexual assault cases, the UCI CARE program is overwhelmed and underfunded. Director of CARE Mandy K. Mount is the only psychologist for victims of sexual assault. Mount said, ‘I have way more work than I can handle.