Indiana University sees spike in sexual assault reports

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University has seen an increase in sexual assault reports on its Bloomington campus.

All 22 IU sororities have canceled Saturday’s events with fraternities in response to the spike. Many students expressed concern.

“Being a young freshman, and especially a girl, it’s scary,” said IU freshman Madison Bishop.

Some Indiana University students are calling on school leaders to take action.

“The school should be more involved in this and actually probably should start regulating some of the parties,” said sophomore Vinno Tan.

Statistics from Indiana University show 22 reports of sexual assault to Bloomington campus police so far this semester. Some of those incidents involve the same people, but it’s an increase from six reports up to this point in the fall 2020 semester. It’s also almost as many reports as in all of 2019 or 2020, which saw 26 and 25 reports, respectively.

Benjamin Hunter, who oversees public safety on IU’s campuses, said it’s too soon to tell whether this spike will continue through the rest of the year.

“I think it’s too early to see if we have a higher trend; these tend to balance out,” Hunter said. “But as we know, sexual assault is highly underreported.”

Hunter attributes the increase, in part, to students returning to campus. IU is trying to encourage more students to report sexual assault, he added.

“We are constantly talking with student groups,” Hunter said. “We have our advocacy team out there talking about reporting this. We are doing outreach to students in terms of explaining consent.”

But some students want officials at IU and other colleges and universities to do more.

Two students at IUPUI are planning rallies at college campuses across the state to advocate for increased security and other safety measures.

“It’s been an issue for decades and it’s been spoken about, but nothing’s ever really been done about it,” said Noah Thomas, a freshman at IUPUI who is organizing the demonstrations.

“We want more cameras and … implementing different classes toward sexual assault and consent,” said Caeley Hayes, another IUPUI freshman who is also an event organizer.

University officials are working to educate more students about the resources available on sexual assault, Hunter said. For more information, click here.

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