Sex Crimes Up on College Campuses [AUDIO]
Overall crime is down on college campuses across the country, but the number of sex offenses reported is up 51 percent over the last decade, according to a joint survey by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The report found 3,330 forcible sex offenses were reported on campuses in 2011, an increase from the 2,200 reported a decade earlier. The number of burglaries, car thefts and other crimes went down during the same period.
Part of the increase can be attributed to the defining characteristics as to what needs to be reported by college campuses according to Carleen Wray, the executive director of the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere.
It is also that students are more encouraged to report sex crimes, and they are more comfortable doing so.
“Part of that has to do with social awareness and clubs on campus talking about how important it is to report sex crimes, and how to be safe and how to build a climate of respect among students,” Wray said.
According to the report, of students ages 12 to 18, 52 per 1,000 reported being victims of a crime at school in 2012, compared with 181 per 1,000 in 1992. Away from school, that rate fell from 173 per 1,000 to 38. Males were more likely than females to be victims of crime, and students in urban and suburban areas were more likely than their rural counterparts to have experienced crime.
“Some of this has to do with efforts that went on in elementary, middle and high school. Many students were encouraged to report during those years and they were taught the difference between reporting and tattling and how to get help, etc. So, some of the social stigma that once went with reporting sex crimes has lessened and they are more comfortable talking about it,” Wray said.
At elementary and high schools, the report identified 31 homicides or suicides, though not necessarily of students, between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 that occurred either on school grounds, on the way to or from school, or while attending or traveling to or from a school-sponsored event. During the 2010-11 school year, 11 school-age children were killed at school, and there were three reported suicides.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.