National campaign hopes to spark conversation on campus safety

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is assaulted or beaten.

One in 6 females on a college campus will experience sexual assault during their time in college.

Those figures are according to Jana’s Campaign, a national organization hoping to change the statistics.

“Till the moment it happened, never ever was this on my radar in any shape or form. Sadly, what we try to tell people, don’t let this issue creep up on your like that,” said Curt Brungardt, co-founder of Jana’s Campaign.

Brungardt’s daughter, Jana, was a law student before she was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2008.

Now through Jana’s Campaign, he’s working to spread awareness to college campuses.

“Colleges and universities in this country often have conflicting priorities. Oftentimes they had to focus on what’s right for the university and protect the university. And sometimes that’s at the expense of protecting students,” Brungardt said.

While sexual assault can be a sensitive and personal topic, it’s one that needs to be discussed.

“It’s also one of the most underreported crimes. While we can reflect on statistics that we see, there’s really no real way to know how prevalent it is,” said Kelly Parker, executive director of Jana’s Campaign.

“If a college campus is really doing a good job, victims are gonna feel comfortable to come forward,” Brungardt said.

It’s why they’re hosting the inaugural Rocky Mountain Campus Safety Summit – a two-day workshop for college administrators, faculty and students to learn how to improve campus safety and prevent sexual assault and violent relationships.

“We need to educate college personnel, students, faculty, staff on how to better address these issues on their campus,” Brungardt said.

That makes their discussions with middle schools so important, as they teach them about the warning signs to look for as they get into relationships.

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