Students speak out after '˜outrageously shocking' sexual assault in university park
STUDENTS have branded a sex attack on university grounds '˜outrageously shocking'.
Youngsters at the University of Portsmouth have spoken out after a 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in Ravelin Park, Southsea, on Saturday night – close to the institution’s library.
It comes after a 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted rape for the incident – which saw the victim followed into the park from Museum Road, forced to the ground and attacked at about 7.20pm.
Engineering student Jack Avery, 20, heard about the assault after it was announced in one of his lectures.
He said: ‘It’s outrageously shocking – you want to be able to feel safe on university grounds.
‘I come through this park maybe four or five times a day and it’s usually a happy place.
‘This has definitely made us feel a bit more cautious about passing through, even as early in the night as it happened.’
Sophie Courtney, who studies physics at the university said the attack was ‘worrying’.
The 20-year-old said: ‘It’s obviously very dark around that time, but we shouldn’t have to be fearful about this sort of thing.
‘The fact it happened really close to where we need to be on a daily basis is worrying.’
Following the news of the attack, students should ‘stick together’, says graduate Sarah Hopkins.
The 23-year-old – hoping to return to the University of Portsmouth for a masters degree – said: ‘People at this university look after each other and that’s admirable.
‘This shows how important it is for us to stick together when we’re out and about.’
Police said the arrested man remains in custody.