|COLLEGE CRIME REPORTING|| || || || || || |
|The number of sex crimes, domestic violence and dating violence incidents reported in annual Clery Act reports by area colleges increased from 2016 to 2017.|| || || || || || |
| ||2016 sex crimes||2017 sex crimes||2016 domestic violence||2017 domestic violence||2016 dating violence||2017 dating violence|
|University of Dayton||21||15||1||6||5||2|
|University of Cincinnati||15||14||2||2||10||8|
| || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || |
|Source: Individual college Clery Act reports. Sex crimes include rape, sexual assault and fondling.|| || || || || |
“Safety of students, faculty and staff remains our top priority,” Monica Moll, OSU director of Public Safety, said in a prepared statement. “We continue to hire additional police officers and invest in safety tools to provide proactive policing and security services to campus residents and for major events.”
OSU was the biggest contributor to the jump as most other area four-year institutions saw reports of sex crimes decline last year.
Reports of sex crimes at Wittenberg University increased by eight to 10 between 2016 and 2017 while Cedarville’s reported sex offenses increased from one in 2016 to two last year. Every other school, including the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University, Wilberforce University and the University of Cincinnati saw their reports decrease.
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Cedarville security director Doug Chisholm said it’s possible crimes are going under-reported on campus, but he attributed the school’s low numbers to its rural setting and the fact that it’s conservative and christian. Cedarville’s student handbook prohibits the use of alcohol and drugs and sex between unmarried men and women.
“We have a particular culture on our campus, being a christian school,” he said. “I think some of the students who come to this school have a particular ethic and I think it shows in our crime stats.”
A Central State University spokesman did not return calls seeking the school’s Clery report.
Though the number of sex offense reports overall at Wright State decreased slightly, the number of rapes reported increased from two to nine between 2016 and 2017, the school’s report states. Like Ohio State officials, WSU Clery compliance officer Curtis Liska said believed this was due to increased awareness and education on campus.
Overall increases are also likely the result of a heightened national conversation surrounding sexual assault and harassment right now due to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault and the ongoing investigation into U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said Ann Brandon, director of prevention at the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
“As we’re having this cultural shift right now, I do think more people are feeling empowered….this national conversation could affect reporting and not necessarily in a negative way,” Brandon said.
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Even with the overall uptick in sex crime reports from area campuses, they are still going far under-reported, said Brandon, who helps conduct Ohio’s campus climate surveys. Only around 14 percent or so of people who are sexually assaulted actually report it, Brandon said.
This year Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office conducted a survey of the state’s public universities, asking them what could be done to help improve their Clery reporting. Yost, a Republican, is running against Democrat Steve Dettlebach to be the state’s next attorney general.
The survey was released just a day before Clery reports were published and found most schools want more training and assistance in reporting and compiling data, something Wright State’s Liska said is a common desire among campus safety officials.
“It seems like a lot of the institutions are struggling with common issues,” Liska said. “It’s somewhat of a moving target and guidance has shifted in some areas over the last few years.”
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