New Clery report: Number of rapes reported at KU went down last year

photo by: Nick Krug

An aerial photo of Kansas University’s campus as it looks in August 2015.

The number of rapes reported at the University of Kansas went down from 19 in 2014 to 13 in 2015, according to the school’s latest Clery report.

The newly released report — which tallies rapes and other crimes reported during the 2015 calendar year — was shared with KU students and employees late Friday.

Rape includes sodomy and sexual assault with an object, according to the Clery report definition. Of the 13 rapes reported at KU in 2015, five occurred in campus housing and five occurred elsewhere on campus, according to the report. One occurred at a “non-campus” location, and two occurred on public property.

Reports of fondling also went down, from 14 in 2014 to four in 2015, according to the report. All four 2015 cases occurred in campus housing.

No cases of incest or statutory rape, the other sex crimes tallied in the report, were reported in 2014 or 2015.

The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires postsecondary institutions to track and annually report crime reported on their campuses.

Clery reports tally crimes reported to campus police, other law enforcement and university officials — such as KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA), which investigates reports of sexual violence separately from police. They include crimes reported on campus proper, public property adjacent to campus and noncampus properties such as fraternities, sororities or buildings used for university purposes that aren’t necessarily contiguous to the campus.

The KU Office of Public Safety’s annual crime statistics, a separate report, are released each spring.

KU police Deputy Chief James Anguiano said he could not say for sure what caused the decrease in KU’s sex crime reports from 2014 to 2015.

In late 2014 KU created the position of CARE (Campus Assistance, Resource and Education) coordinator, tasked with providing support and information about medical, psychological, legal and university resources to victims of sexual violence or accused perpetrators.

In 2015 it changed from a mandated reporter position to a confidential one — meaning the CARE coordinator is no longer required to report sexual assaults people tell her about to law enforcement or university officials.

The ability for victims to talk to someone on campus confidentially may have contributed to the dip in sexual violence reports, but Anguiano said it’s impossible to say for sure.

However, he said, the most important thing is for victims to know their options and get the help they need.

“As we see victims that want to come in to report, whether it’s a police report or talking to IOA, as long as they’re getting assistance is the major thing,” Anguiano said. “We just want victims to be aware that there are places to go and to report.”

In addition to KU’s crime statistics, comprehensive campus safety information including contacts for the CARE Coordinator, law enforcement and IOA is included in this year’s 83-page Clery report.

The number of rapes reported in 2014 differs slightly from last year’s Clery report to this year’s. The report notes that a rape that occurred in 2014 was not reported until 2015, and thus the earlier report was amended.