Increase in reports of on-campus rapes

All data from university Clery reports
All data from university Clery reports

Recently released statistics show the number of reported on-campus rapes increased in 2015, while the number of reported aggravated assaults, burglaries and liquor violations decreased.

The released statistics are part of a federal mandate called the Clery Act, which requires universities to release certain figures on campus crime and safety. All cited statistics are for the main campus as no crimes were reported on the Ozark campus in 2015 or 2014. The statistics are organized by calendar year, not academic year.

Four on-campus rapes were reported in 2015, up from the one reported on-campus rape in 2014. Additionally, one off-campus incidence of rape was reported to the Department of Public Safety in 2015, bringing the total number of reported incidences of rape to five.

Joshua McMillian, chief of Public Safety, said he believes that increased education efforts and a change in the way the data is reported is the reason for the increase in reported rapes.

“I think what we’ve done is we’ve created this atmosphere where people are okay to report crimes. Like in the past, if someone was the victim of a sexual assault or a rape, there’s kind of a taboo thing like ‘oh it’s my fault,’ the victim will make excuses as to why it’s their fault,” McMillian said.

“So what we’ve done is we’ve really pushed hard to educate people on that, you know, it’s not your fault. If this happens to you, report it, this is what you need to do. I think our programs have been very successful. Any time you see a university or department put forth more education programs, as well as better reporting methods, we’re going to have an upswing in our numbers.”

Some changes were made in how data was reported under the Clery Act between the 2013 and 2014 reporting years. For example, the categories “sex act-forcible” and “sex act-non forcible” were phased out in favor of a new “rape” category. Those changes in classification are apparent in the table below.
Other crimes decreased between the 2014 and 2015 years, which McMillian attributed to several departmental changes.

“I think the reason other crimes went down is because we have a larger police department than we have in the past, and once again our education programs has been really, really good and I think that because of that, with our proactive law enforcement and our community style policing, we’ve basically created this atmosphere where people are ‘hey it’s OK to report crimes’ and ‘maybe we better not commit crimes.’”

The number of aggravated assaults decreased from 10 incidents in 2014 to four reported incidents in 2015.

There were 16 reported burglaries in 2015, down from a reported 23 in 2014.

A total of 62 liquor violations were reported in 2015, down from 68 in 2014.

A total of 11 drug law violations were reported in 2015, down from 21 in 2014.