According to the University’s annual federally mandated crime and safety report, released just this week to the public, there was an increase in rape allegations and alcohol violations from 2015 to 2016.
The report stated that there were 16 rapes reported just this past year, up eight from the year before.
It has been noted that this increase in reported sexual assaults does not necessarily correlate with an increase in actual sexual assault.
Though this could be the case, it is also possible that the increase in reports is due to a more widespread acceptance and general comfort towards reporting such crimes to law enforcement due to the push for believing and supporting the victims of these crimes in recent years.
University officials stated in a prepared statement about the issue upon release of the report: “We believe our intervention education is making a difference in creating an environment where anyone feels comfortable reporting sexual violence. This enables us to support victims and hold accountable those who are responsible. Our ramped-up alcohol enforcement efforts also are making a difference in holding students accountable for liquor law violations through our student disciplinary process.”
In addition to sexual violence and alcohol violations, the report revealed statistics on alcohol and drug related arrests and disciplinary referrals made by the school, which also showed a generalized steady decline between 2015 to 2016.
The report, mandated under the Federal Clery Act of 1990, is meant to allow the public access to all campus security policy and and crime statistics in order to keep students, parents, and those affiliated with universities more informed about life on campus.
It is important to note, however, that the report is not all-inclusive as it does not include offenses reported at landlord houses.
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University officials finished their statement with a message of hope and reassurance: “The health and safety of our University community always is very important to us and we continue to be highly proactive in crime prevention education and enforcement. These efforts include regular crime prevention presentations for our University community and our nationally acclaimed Green Dot program, which equips students with skills to safely intervene as bystanders in situations of concern or potential violence and encourages them to look out for each other.”
Photo courtesy of udayton.edu.