London, Ont., police say they have not been able to discover evidence to back up various complaints on social media of Western University students being drugged and assaulted.
During the first week back to school, 30 or more pupils may have been drugged and/or abused in Medway-Sydenham Hall, according to social media accounts.
As a result of the numerous reports, London police issued an invitation in collaboration with Western University.
During the week of Sept. 13, police went to Medway-Sydenham Hall to speak with students and look for any potential victims or witnesses to the occurrences that surfaced on social media.
Police say after speaking with more than 600 people including residency staff, students and residency assistants, officials have received no formal reports of a Medway-Sydenham Hall resident being drugged and sexually assaulted.
“We have been unable to substantiate information circulated in social media posts about widespread incidents of that nature,” a release from London police read.
Following the incidents, both the London Abused Women’s Centre and Anova reported receiving multiple calls in connection to the online social media posts.
After the initial reports, AnnaLise Trudell, manager of education, training and research at Anova told Global News on Sept. 15 that the true number or impact of what happened may never be known.
“It important to know we may never know,” Trudell said. “We know most survivors do not go through formal reporting processes for valid and legitimate reasons, so how many and what sort of variety or iteration – we may not know those details.”
In their update on Friday police did acknowledge many victims of sexual assault struggle to come forward.
“We understand that individuals experience inflicted trauma in ways that are unique to them alone and that there is no “standard” response on the part of victims and survivors to sexual violence,” the statement read.
“Victims and survivors of sexual assault are not required to assist in a police investigation,” the police said.
“We know that incidences of sexual violence are underreported for a variety of well-documented reasons, and that victims and survivors who were initially hesitant to report may decide to come forward with their disclosure at a later date.”
The investigation into possible episodes of sexual violence at Medway-Sydenham Hall will continue, and any victims are encouraged to come forward, according to London police.