I-Team: Conference addresses sexual assault

Lilly Jay

A sexual assault survivor spoke out Thursday at a day-long event in Providence dedicated to the tough topic of sexual assault.

"First and foremost I wanted to describe my experience after assault," said Lilly Jay, a college senior who spoke publicly at the conference for the first time.

She was sexually assaulted as a freshman at Amherst College in Massachusetts.

"It's OK for young women to be OK. Moving on is just as brave as having a megaphone and speaking your truth," Jay said.

The spotlight on campus sexual assaults is growing.

Last week, the NBC 10 I-Team broke the story of a Providence College student who told police she was drugged at a local bar and sexually assaulted inside a Brown University dorm room by two Brown football players.

The I-Team learned that while Brown University police were was aware of the criminal investigation from the early stages, the two players were allowed to remain on campus and on the football team for close to three months.

No one has been charged, and the case remains under investigation.

Peg Langhammer is the executive director of Day One, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual assault in Rhode Island.

"There's no surprise that there's another case. We know the statistics and we know how pervasive it is. I think what we're seeing is many more people coming forward," Langhammer said.

Day One reached out to every college and university in Rhode Island to talk about how schools deal with sexual assault, but the organization says the response has been mixed.

"We've heard from some who absolutely want to sit down as soon as possible," Langhammer said. "Some we haven't heard from."

Jay said some colleges have a long way to go, but others are doing the right thing.

"It's very scary to be a college student and to have your administration, the people tasked with keeping you safe, say, 'You're right. We don't know what's going on. We really, really messed up,'" Jay said. "That's an important thing to say. But it's also important for colleges to stand up for themselves and say, 'We're not doing everything wrong, and we're going to take care of you.'"