COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
When a University of Missouri student woke with injuries to her head and face and no memory of the previous night, she realized something was terribly wrong.
"Waking up the next morning I had terrible pain in my head and my neck and I felt that my lip was busted," said the woman, who is being given anonymity to protect her identity. "I looked down -- I was only wearing my socks and I was in a bed next to the man."
The student decided to share her story as the University of Missouri continues to receive reports of drinks being spiked as a means of sexual assault. She hopes that talking will help other people feel confident to share their stories.
The university police department said in a message to the campus Friday that MU has received reports of drugged drinks at various locations, including fraternity social events. Police say they're investigating the reports along with Columbia police.
The student isn't alone in her experience -- MU in its annual Clery Act report says 12 rapes were reported on campus in 2019. Seven more were reported off campus. Eight cases of fondling were reported on campus.
And experts say there are likely countless cases that are never reported.
'Then I remember nothing'
One night in March, the woman headed out to an off-campus house party with some of her friends. That evening she believes she was drugged.
"I got drunk very fast. I don't even really remember a period of just being drunk -- it was I was sober and then I remember nothing," she said.
The next day she was unsure of what happened. She said her memory of the night was all a blur until she began to receive harassing text messages from a man she believes sexually assault her. He admitted in those messages that she was unconscious during sex, she says.
She then contacted True North of Columbia, a resource for domestic and sexual violence, and was advised to get a restraining order and file a police report. She said Columbia police investigated for nearly four months but charges were never filed.
"It wasn't until early August that they decided they are not going to move through with it. Because although we have the text message admitting to it, there wasn't enough evidence to prove he sent the text message," the woman said.
She then asked MU for an investigation under Title IX, a federal law which prohibits sexual discrimination on college campuses. The university's Office for Civil Rights and Title IX investigates cases of sexual assault involving members of the campus community.
The investigation just wrapped up and the student judicial process will move forward. She said a hearing is scheduled next month with the university on whether to pursue academic punishment against the man accused of raping her.