COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A robbery and attempted rape near Ohio State University’s campus last weekend has students feeling on edge.

According to the Columbus Division of Police, at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday, a woman asleep in her car on East 11th Avenue near North High Street woke to an unknown man entering her vehicle. The man got on top of her, threatened to sexually assault her and tried removing her clothes while another man searched her car and took her cell phone.

Security footage captured the two men fleeing on foot, according to CPD, but their identities remain unknown. Ohio State student Maddy Dreyer, who lives off-campus near High Street, was upset to hear about the incident — but not surprised.

“I’ve had an incident my freshman year,” Dreyer said. “Someone followed me into my dorm building.”

Dreyer is far from alone in her experience. Meg Dennis, a manager at the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, said its advocates see more than 900 victims in central Ohio emergency departments each year. But the true number of people who experience sexual violence each year is much higher, Dennis said.

“Sexual violence is the most underreported crime,” said Dennis, noting that only about 25% of sexual assault cases are reported. She said SARNCO’s goal is to encourage more survivors to come forward.

SARNCO survivor advocates are available to stay with victims at the hospital while they receive care and undergo sexual assault nurse examinations — colloquially known as rape kits. The organization also operates a 24-7 hotline staffed by people specially trained in handling sexual violence calls.

“We have specially trained advocates that can talk with you about the processes, the options you might have, just so you’re not alone,” Dennis said.

SARNCO also has two advocates on Ohio State’s campus that provide confidential support to students who have experienced sexual violence — on or off campus. Their office is located at 33 W. 11th Ave., and their office is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, there are resources available.

  • SARNCO 24-hour sexual assault helpline: 614-267-7020
  • SARNCO aftercare advocacy: 614-788-4739
  • SARNCO OSU campus advocacy coordinators: 614-688-2518
  • Ohio Domestic Violence Network: 614-781-9651