New report ignores off-campus sex crimes
Published: Monday, December 5, 2005
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
Although the 2004 crime report no longer measures off-campus crimes, forcible sex offenses increased by 50 percent on campus in 2004, compared with the previous two years. The crime report stated that 18 such offenses were reported to the University Police department in 2004. Twelve were reported in 2003 and 2002.
Of those cases, only one was a completed rape that occurred in a dormitory, according to reports.
A study by the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that in a seven-month period, about 27.7 rapes will occur per 1000 female college students. Thus a college with a student body of 10,000 might expect to experience more than 350 rapes each year, but a college of Ohio State's population could expect to experience over 1,750 rapes each year.
Deborah Shipper, coordinator of the Rape Education and Prevention Program, said her office works with about 20 sexual assault victims each quarter.
Rape is a notoriously underreported crime. However, Howard Robboy, an advisor to the victim advocacy organization Security on Campus, cautions that if a school under-reports rape, it is likely there are mechanisms in place to discourage victims from coming forward.
Sexual assault victim and OSU alumna Stacy Bogart is currently suing the university for the way her rape complaint was handled by university officials.
"I was victimized once by the rapist, and again by the university's inaction," Bogart said. "Throughout all of this I have realized that it takes a lot of pain to make change. I believe it is my obligation to stand up against the injustice and fight for the victims that have been ignored, neglected or silenced by OSU administrators."
Bogart was honored with the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award Tuesday for her actions to improve safety at OSU following her attack.
The award is named after a woman who was raped and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in 1986. The award was presented by Security on Campus, an organization founded by Clery's parents. The Clery's are were also instrumental in the passage of the national Clery Act, a law that requires universities to issue a timely warning of the danger posed to students after a crime is reported on campus.
Bogart charges that the university failed to warn her of the danger when a reported rapist was moved to a nearby residence hall her freshman year. Had the university taken the proper precautions, her attack might have been avoided, she said.
On Tuesday, following her award ceremony at the Ohio Union, she encouraged women who are victims of sexual assault to come forward.
"Talk about it," she said. "Seek out as many resources as possible, make sure everything is documented and make sure your rights are afforded."
Security on Campus' Senior Vice President S. Daniel Carter presented Bogart with the award.
"I am very impressed with your commitment, not only to help Ohio State, but to have helped numbers of other survivors," Carter said.