NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - A startling number of rapes have been reported to Vanderbilt University police this year. In the last 60 days, there have been 11.
The news however, may not be as bad as it sounds as the university has been urging victims to come forward.
The latest rape was reported just last Thursday to the Campus Security Authority (CSA), which is typically teachers, counselors or doctors on staff, rather than campus police.
The majority of the reports say the rapes occurred at a campus residence hall.
Of the 11 reported rapes, only three of the cases are currently open.
The latest, reported May 3 to police, reportedly happened on campus in the Morgan House dorms. Seven of the rape reports are marked inactive, while one case is closed.
None of the rapes were reported the same day they occurred, and three dated back more than two years.
Vanderbilt University officials told News 2 there is zero tolerance for sexual misconduct on campus and they have dedicated a substantial amount of resources to sexual misconduct education and prevention.
Currently, all incoming students are required to complete an online course on preventing sexual violence that also introduces students to Vanderbilt policy, Tennessee state law, on and off-campus resources, as well as reporting options.
Vanderbilt's Project Safe Center, which was expanded in July 2014 to a free-standing center with increased staffing and resources, provides community access to sexual assault support and prevention resources.
When there is a crime on campus, like a sexual assault, employees and students are alerted through Alert VU.
Vanderbilt University officials released the following statement to News 2:
"Vanderbilt is committed to combating sexual assault and holding perpetrators accountable. We know sexual offenses are some of the most underreported crimes – particularly on college campuses – so we always encourage people to report and we are always working to create an environment in which people will feel comfortable coming forward to report. We hope our numbers reflect this. At Vanderbilt, and as with all universities, there are a number of ways victims can report incidents and seek support.
When the victim of a sexual assault reports the incident to the police, or asks Vanderbilt to do so, a police investigation can be initiated. However, not all victims choose to make a report to law enforcement. Most reports are made to trusted faculty or staff by victims seeking support and resources, such as those offered at our Project Safe Center. Also, all reports of sexual assault on our campus that are not made to a confidential resource, regardless of whether or not a criminal investigation is conducted, are referred to our Title IX coordinator, whose office is charged with investigating whether there has been a violation of the university's sexual misconduct policy."
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