The other night there was a stranger rape (as opposed to the far more frequent rapes by those who people know) in the building where my department is. In fact, the floor just below mine. And it wasn't even dark out at the time--maybe 8pm, if that.
There was a student working in the biology lab and her lab partner left briefly to get something to eat, and that's all it took. It sounds like the attacker may have been scoping out the situation for a while; who knows. I can't tell you how many nights I've spent alone in that building working on my data and pacing the halls while taking phone breaks. Everybody's a little weirded out, but nobody's talking about it. This is somewhat strange for a psychology department.
Today I accompanied my clinical supervisor to a debriefing for some people who work in the building. But really, it could have been any of us--he could have chosen any floor. I think we should have a debriefing amongst ourselves, too.
I'm feeling pretty resentful that I now don't feel I could comfortably work alone in my own department, should I choose to. Or walk home across campus in the evening, let alone at night.
Even if they catch this particular assailant, it'll be all the campus women who are paying with our freedom, once again.