TBI releases number of reported sex offenses on college campuses

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its Crime on Campus report for 2014 Monday. It reported an increase in reported campus rapes.

While TBI found campus crime is down about six percent, there was a 76.9 percent increase in reported rapes from 2013 to 2014. There were 26 rapes reported in 2013 and 46 rapes reported in 2014.

TBI reported there were more than a dozen reported sex offenses on Rhodes College's campus. The college explained that students abide by a student-led Honor Code with high standards. They are encouraged to report offenses.

TBI reports the following number of reported sex offenses at these Memphis schools:

- Christian Brothers University: 0
- Southwest Tennessee Community College: 1
- University of Memphis: 2
- Rhodes College: 17

Of the 17 sex offenses, 11 were forcible rapes.

"I mean we never hear about it. We rarely hear about it. They’re working on it right now, in fact, with the student community to make it better well known throughout the campus," Rhodes senior Alex McMillan said.

Rhodes College released this statement:

Rhodes is a tight-knit, residential college and more than 75% of our students live on campus. Integrated into our culture is a strong, student-led Honor Code, which holds our students to an unusually high standard when it comes to on-campus behavior. Because of these factors, our students feel an obligation to report incidences of misconduct knowing that it will help keep others safe on campus. In fact, we encourage our students to report even the smallest incidents, which is not typical of most other colleges, and not always to our advantage when we are being compared to other colleges and universities.

Campus safety is among our highest priorities, and in recent years Rhodes has increased programming designed to educate our students on sexual misconduct and the importance of reporting. We will continue do everything within our power to ensure that all of our students have a safe and secure place to live and learn.

CBU said it also holds students to a high standard.

"We talk about it a lot. We have symposia on consent and what it means to say no, and what harassment is, and we take it extremely seriously," CBU spokesperson Wendy Sumner-Winter said.

The Department of Justice reports about 20 percent of student sexual assault victims come forward to police.

Southwest Tennessee Community College campus police said it's relatively pleased with its crime numbers.

University of Memphis campus police said it has the lowest crime rate of the state's ten largest universities.


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