INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A former Indiana University student charged with two rapes spent just one day in jail due to a plea agreement. The serious charges were dismissed and John Enochs will serve one year of probation. Now, rape survivors and activists say this case sheds light on the growing problem of sexual assault on college campuses.
One in five women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during their college years, according to national data. Experts tell CBS4 the numbers don't depict the full scope of the problem because many cases go unreported.
Rape survivor Ti'Air Riggins said she feels cases like Enochs' make it harder for victims to come forward because they do not think the justice system will work for them.
"They are trained to find people who are making up stories versus believing the person," she said.
Riggins, a PhD student at Purdue, said she was raped during her first year on campus. She initially hesitated to report the crime to police. Once she did, her uneasiness grew.
" It was more difficult to talk to them because the questions were very accusatory," Riggins said. "The language, the things that they use, like 'Were you doing this? Were you drinking?'"
Riggins went from victim to activist and helped create a student group to help others who experience sexual assault.
Tracey Horth Krueger is also taking action to make college campuses safer by leading the new Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault. She said systemic changes are needed.
"We have to have a system in place that makes sense," Horth Krueger said. "[A system] that makes victims feels supported and people who work in this arena are educated."
Plus, she said certain cases that show perpetrators not facing consequences can create a dangerous environment where victims don't want to come forward.
"When a person goes public and says they’ve been sexually assaulted, raped, oftentimes their blamed," Horth Krueger said. "Their behavior is questioned and they are put in a defensive position instead of being supported."
The coalition is working on setting up a statewide council to look into the what training is needed to ensure law enforcement and anyone who interacts with rape victims act in an appropriate manner.