33 reports of rape on Stanford campus in 2016, sexual assault on the rise

- Stanford University's annual crime data shows reports of rape on campus are on the rise. 

33 rapes were reported at Stanford last year. That's almost three per month. The new crime report exposes some troubling trends for students and staff at the prestigious Palo Alto school. 

While there has been a slight increase in the numbers over the year, campus administrators say students have a better understanding of what constitutes a crime and are no longer under-reporting incidents on campus.

"Yeah, that's a lot. How are young girls supposed to feel safe here on campus and going to school?" said Kara Bogard a graduate student at the University. 

Stanford's Safety Security and Fire Report is required by Federal Law, devoted to promoting personal safety and crime prevention on campus. It provides data on a variety of crimes.

According to the report, figures from 2016 show 45 sexual offenses were reported, 33 rapes and 12 incidents of fondling. 

In 2015, the numbers were lower; 39 sexual offenses were reported, which included 25 rapes and 11 cases of fondling.

The rise in numbers leave married student Bogard nervous.

"The increase is bad for the reputation of the university. For one, it deters people and professionals like myself. I work down the street here," she said. 

"Over the past year, Stanford investigated more student cases than we had in the prior year, and we are hopeful that is a reflection that more of our students are willing to engage with the Title IX Office to resolve and redress their concerns," according to Stanford's Senior Vice Provost. 

Many of the cases were reported to the University's Title IX office, which lead to investigations and adjudications, but that process is facing review and retooling after President Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said earlier this month that she is overturning the Obama-era college guidelines that were intended to crackdown on college sexual assault and rape. 

"The current approach does a disservice to everyone involved. That's why we must do better," said DeVos earlier this month at a news conference.

"Colleges can't get tougher leaving victims in a difficult place," said Charlotte Kosche, a freshman. "I don't feel good about that and what [DeVos] said to the media about Title IX cases and I think it's making it harder to have an open discourse on this topic." 

The topic of campus rape is sensitive after former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was released from jail after serving 3-months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus.  This case from the past along with recent report and events in Washington are serving to continue the conversation on a serious issues.

"I do believe the community around Stanford and the reputation should be talking more loud about this definitely," said Fabrico Sanches, a graduate student. 

The report also indicated there's been a decrease in the number of alcohol-related arrests. Students also have a number of campus resources to report crimes like sexual assault on and off campus and are encouraged to file a police report as soon as it happens.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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