Police investigate reported sexual battery at UC Berkeley library

BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) -- The fall semester at UC Berkeley is just two weeks old, and students have already been receiving a warning about a sexual battery that took place at a campus library early Tuesday morning. 
 
The incident is especially unnerving because it happened in a school library. Two female exchange students told KTVU they have been learning about a scary attitude that has reared its ugly head at Cal.
 
 "We're exchange students and we don't have this kind of rape culture in our home universities," said Sophie Mulhall.
 
The latest incident happened just after 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday at one of the school's libraries. Police said off camera that the victim didn't say exactly what happened, who did it, give any description of the attacker or even say which library she was in when it happened.
 
"I feel like I can't go out at night now. And I didn't feel like that at home," said exchange student Bella Martin.
 
"You don't think you should feel like that, but you do. It's really scary. And in the library; in a place of academia. That's really unsettling."
 
Despite the vague nature of the attack, UC Police put out an email warning to the campus community which tells of a sexual battery in a library.
 
Statistically, the early part of the school year is when crimes often happen. And in fact, there were several robberies of students at Cal just last week.
 
"Anywhere you go now, it feels like it's dangerous. I mean people just can't control themselves, I guess," said junior Christina Yegnazarian.
 
Sexual assault has been far more common on college campuses, including UC Berkeley, than anyone would like for it to be. Cal has been under investigation by the federal department of education after complaints filed by sexual assault victims. 
 
And that leads back to that harsh lesson the exchange students have been learning from their friends.
 
"The stuff they've been telling us about, like keeping yourself safe and stuff, I've never heard them mention to actually don't rape. Let's destroy rape culture," said Martin. "But it's been more of the protecting victims and stuff, which is obviously really important. But we really, really need to concentrate on..." 
 
"Get to the root of the problem," finished Mulhall. 
 
"Yes, exactly," agreed Martin.
 
Campus officials say students are now required to take an in-person seminar and an online course that include information about rape and consent. If they don't, their registrations can be held up.
 
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