Spring Hill College rape victim speaks out about alleged sexual assault, says she was ‘drugged’

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A student at Spring Hill College who says she was raped inside her dorm is speaking out for the first time about the alleged sexual assault.

Audrey Cox, a junior at Spring Hill College, says she was violently raped inside her dorm on March 12 after a night of drinking in downtown Mobile. Cox says it started when she and her friends went out to have a few drinks for “penny beer” night, where you can order one pitcher of beer for a penny. She says she at the bar, she believes she was drugged by an acquaintance that is also a student at Spring Hill College.

From there the night became a blur, according to Cox. She says she went to another bar before taking an Uber back to her residence hall with a group of people. When she got to her dorm, she says her friend made sure she made it back to her room safely. Then, she says the acquaintance she now believes drugged her at the bar, hunted her down and raped her inside her dorm room.

At the time, she says she didn’t know he had drugged her because she wasn’t coherent but when she woke up the next morning, it all made sense.

“I go to the bathroom and I have blood, everything is not the way it needs to be. Obviously, something happened. I felt very confused, I was in a fog. I didn’t know what was going on,” Cox said.

Cox says she felt like she was in a fog and called her friends to tell them she didn’t remember what happened. She says she reported the sexual assault to Spring Hill College the following day.

Spring Hill College says as soon as the report was made, an investigation was immediately launched.

Cox claims Spring Hill College is trying to silence her and says she is disappointed after hundreds of women have come to her, claiming the same thing happened to them on campus.

On Wednesday, Cox took to Facebook to share her sexual assault story which has sense gone viral.

Cox lived at New Hall, a dorm on Spring Hill’s campus, and says the front door was always unlocked, which is how she believes her rapist was able to get inside. Since reporting the incident to the school, she says the doors are now locked.

Spring Hill College’s President, Dr. E. Joseph Lee II, told WKRG News 5 he was made aware of security flaws after the incident was reported but says the school has made improvements.

In a statement to WKRG News 5 on Thursday, Spring Hill College said:

Spring Hill College is saddened to share that in mid-March, a student reached out to Campus Public Safety to report an incidence of sexual assault. The College immediately took a number of actions, including coordination with campus law enforcement, initiating a Title IX response, and offering counseling and support services to the reporting student.

Spring Hill College has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy with regard to any form of violence and will look into every allegation. Any reported incident will continue to be handled immediately. The College is committed to thoroughly examining all allegations of assault on campus, whenever in our history they may have occurred.

“Cura personalis,” which means care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – is the core tenet that guides our purpose and support of everyone on the Spring Hill College campus,” said E. Joseph Lee, PhD, president of Spring Hill College. “We are a College that believes in the rights, the humanity, and the crucial need of our students to be heard.”

While any incident of violence is too many, Spring Hill College is purposeful in maintaining a safe campus experience, utilizing sworn police officers, technology, and training for all who step on campus. The College already provides training and resources for the campus community as part of the educational and student-focused experience. The College maintains a Title IX coordinator, trained to address any reports or incidences. We support our students. From the moment they share their intent to join our Badger family, they are and always will be our first priority. This support is evident in the classroom, in our campus organizations — in every aspect of their life on campus. In fact, through an innovative grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, we are using their guidance and expertise to create more student-focused initiatives to eliminate sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. It also includes the development of a coordinated community response team that brings the entire campus community together under this shared purpose.

Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third-oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – with innovative educational experiences. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill’s mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice, and service for life. As a result, Spring Hill students are engaged, inspired, and transformed by their experiences.

-Statement from Spring Hill College on March 25, 2021

Local law enforcement as well as the Title IX office at Spring Hill College are investigating the alleged sexual assault incident.

Cox hopes other women are victims are sexually assault aren’t afraid to come forward.

“I’m just blown away by the support and love that I’ve gotten. I’m here, I’m listening, I see you, and I can relate like. We are in this together and the stronger we are, the better we can make things change,” Cox said.

Spring Hill College says they are committed to thoroughly examining all allegations of assault on campus, whenever in history they may have occurred.

Free counseling is available for assault victims at Lifelines Counseling Services. Call the 24/7 Victim Services number at 251-473-7273 or 800-718-7273.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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