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Safety tips after sexual assault rocks UND campus

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) -- A 17-year-old is in custody tonight, after police say he tried to rape a student in her dorm at the University of North Dakota.  

The student says she woke up to a man trying to take off her clothes.

While police investigated a call about a burglary -- that led them to piece together the alleged crimes.

The teen was arrested on charges of sexual assault and burglary.

Police say they expect to file charges on another man related to the crimes.

Neither are students at UND.

They refuse to tell us how the suspect got into the dorm, and how the victim got the suspect to leave.

Authorities are remaining tight lipped.

"She invoked Marsy's Law. So we're not able to release any information on her,” says Lt. Danny Weigel, UND Police Department.

Police tonight are warning all students to lock their dorms.

WDAZ's Kenneth Chase gives us some tips for student safety.  

Police say it's this residence hall on the University of North Dakota's campus where a man allegedly tried to sexually assault a student.

Police say there's no way you can prevent these attacks from happening.

But here are some things you can do to keep yourself more secure.

"I'd be terrified. I can't imagine if that happened to me. I'd be really shooken up," says Gretchen Cone, student.  

Concern for neighbors and friends.

Police say if you see something, say something.

Call them to report any suspicious behaviors.

Gretchen Cone, "Now we check and we lock our outside door once everybody's in. And we all lock our individual doors so that's a new change at least in our suite area."

If you find yourself needing help there are different phones like this stationed across campus. All you have to do is run up, touch the emergency button, and then when the light comes on, help will be on its way.

Another resource?

UND staffs an advisor from the Community Violence Intervention Center -- someone you can talk to confidentially about an assault.

They tell us more than ninety percent of sexual assaults on campuses go unreported.

"Extreme fear, feeling unsafe, trauma related to emotions of sadness, anger," says Therese Hugg, Community Violence Intervention Center.

Experts agree: Be aware of your surroundings.

A tip students say they plan to use.

Gretchen Cone, "Just being more aware of who's on the floor and whether they belong there instead of just kind of ignoring it."

Here’s information to get in contact with the confidential advisor: 

CVIC Confidential Advisor at University of North Dakota, Room 262, 701-777-6550.

Sexual Assault Survivors Group meets Mondays at 3:30 pm.

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