Students raise money for woman whose jaw was broken in assault

Raelynn Vincent, a senior communication studies major, was punched in the jaw by an unknown assailant on March 7. Photo courtesy of Raelynn Vincent.

The local and campus communities are raising money to support the recovery of Raelynn Vincent, a student who was assaulted by an unknown assailant and suffered a broken jaw early on the morning of March 7.

On March 24, the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center tabled near Bell Memorial Union, where they told Vincent’s story and accepted donations, raising $63. The group wanted to bring awareness to gender-based harassment, or catcalling, which reportedly preceded Vincent’s assault.

The GSEC charity event added additional support to the $1605 that has been raised toward Vincent’s medical bills through a GoFundMe Web page.

“It was really sweet of GSEC to reach out and hold that catcalling fundraiser,” said Vincent, asenior communication studies major.

Vincent was assaulted early on the morning of March 7 near Third and Ivy streets while walking home from her boyfriend’s house. Initially, she was verbally harassed by a man in a car, and then the suspect, who is still at large, exited the vehicle and punched Vincent in the jaw, breaking it in two places on the lower, right side of her chin and then drove away.

“I’m really glad GSEC held a fundraiser for her” said Christy Walowit, a sophomore nutrition and food science major. “I think the fundraiser helped bring awareness to gender-based harassment within our community, and shows that Chico State students stand in solidarity with Raelynn.”

Vincent’s jaw was wired shut for two weeks and she underwent two separate surgeries, she said. She couldn’t eat with her jaw wired shut, didn’t have an appetite and could hardly talk.

She currently has plates on her jaw fracture line.

“It’s difficult for me to talk still because my mouth is really sore,” Vincent said. “At the end of the day is when it hurts. It gets pretty painful.”

Vincent is now back in classes and continues to recover from her injuries. Students and the local community are showing her full support. Chico State sent her an email following the accident telling her they were there for anything she needed.

Vincent was also grateful to the community for the rally that was held on March 12 to stand up against the recent acts of violence in Chico.

“Yeah, I know there was a rally against violence for Travis and I,” Vincent said, “and I thought that it was pretty incredible for Chico State students to put together.”

Vincent said she is taking recovery one day at a time and her doctors say she is healing well.

Michael McClurg can be reached at [email protected] or @MichaelMcClurg on Twitter.