College safety report shows rise in number of reported sexual offenses

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Author: Noel Hemphill

The number of reported sex offenses increased between 2011 and 2013 while drug violations fell over the same period, according to this year’s Annual Fire, Safety and Security Report (AFSSR). The report is submitted each year by Oct. 1 and provides a compilation of both on- and off-campus crimes from the past three calendar years.

The majority of crimes mentioned in the report fell into one of three categories: sex offenses, drug law violations and liquor law violations.

The number of reported sex offenses rose from 12 incidents in 2011 to 64 incidents in 2013, although 34 of the cases reported in 2013 occurred in previous years. The report attributes the increase in reported offenses to heightened awareness of Title IX issues and of reporting and support options.

The report noted that there had been misreporting of crimes over the three years, which was attributed to misinterpretations of Clery Act requirements. Additionally, the report pointed out more than 550 anonymous, false reports of sexual assault that are believed to have been submitted in protest by “Men’s Rights” activists from Reddit.

Drug law violations decreased from 132 to 52 reported incidents between 2011 and 2013, while liquor law violations oscillated. The number of reported liquor law violations rose from 262 in 2011 to 312 in 2012. There were 278 reported violations in 2013.

Several branches of Occidental staff contributed to the report, including Clery Act Administrator Veronika Barsegyan, Chief of Campus Safety Victor Clay, the Dean of Students office, Residential Education and Housing Services and members of Project S.A.F.E.

A full report of the crime numbers and a digital copy of the 2014 AFSSR can be found on the Occidental College Campus Safety website.

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