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Sexual Assault Reports Increase At UCSDUSD

The number of sexual assaults reported on the campus of UC San Diego has steadily risen over the last three years. In 2011, there were 6 reports, compared to 20 reported in 2013, according to the university’s campus security report released Oct. 1.

Sexual Assault Reports

Crime statistics were released this week for federally funded colleges and universities. More attention has been placed this year on campus sexual assaults. Here are the numbers for local colleges:

San Diego State University

2011 - 12

2012 - 21

2013 - 8

University of California, San Diego

2011 - 6

2012 - 12

2013 - 20

Cal State San Marcos

2011 - 0

2012 - 0

2013 - 0

University of San Diego

2011 - 3

2012 - 1

2013 -  5

Point Loma Nazarene

2011 - 0

2012 - 1

2013 - 0

*To see numbers from local community colleges go to their campus police department websites.

The smaller, private University of San Diego also saw its numbers rise, from 1 reported sexual assault in 2012, to 5 in 2013.

Reported sexual assaults at San Diego State University dropped by more than half in 2013. SDSU was the subject of a recent state audit criticizing how it handles student and faculty training on sexual violence.

California State San Marcos, which is currently investigating multiple sexual assault reports involving the San Marcos chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, reported zero sexual assaults for three years in a row. The recent sexual assault reports took place in 2014.

The schools release these numbers annually as mandated by the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to publish statistics on campus crime.

A higher rate of sexual-violence reports should not necessarily cause alarm. In fact, it may be a good thing as sexual assaults on college campuses are grossly under-reported. The increase may indicate more understanding of how to report rape, what constitutes sexual assault, or growing awareness of the issue.

"The Clery numbers don't tell you much about what’s really happening on your campus,” said Jeff Bucholtz, co-founder of We End Violence, which provides education around sexual violence. “Overwhelmingly, victims of interpersonal violence don’t tell people,” Bucholtz said.

Bucholtz and other experts want to see colleges conduct anonymous surveys to better understand the rates of sexual violence in their campus communities.

More than 70 schools are being investigated by the federal government for how they handle sexual assaults, including possible violations of the Clery Act and Title IX, a 1972 law that bans gender discrimination in education. None of the local universities is being investigated.

This was the first year colleges were required to report crimes of domestic and dating violence, as well as stalking. In 2013, SDSU received six dating violence reports, two domestic violence reports and zero stalking reports. UCSD had nine reports each of both domestic and dating violence, for a total of 18. There were no stalking reports made in 2013. In all three categories, USD reported zero as did Cal State San Marcos.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial new bill mandating that students engaging in sex get an affirmative consent – that is, a verbal or non-verbal “yes” before having sex. That new standard of consent would come into play when a university is investigating a Title IX complaint asserting sexual assault. The bill is the first of its kind in the country.

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