LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s two public universities saw significant spikes from 2017 to 2018 in reports of sexual violence, according to annual data going to the Nevada System of Higher Education board.
The tally says rape, fondling, stalking and domestic and dating violence went up at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Police chiefs from both campuses attributed the numbers to an increase in reporting by students.
“We know that an increase in the numbers looks bad, but we see it as a win for reporting,” said Todd Renwick, police director at UNR, Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada College and the Desert Research Institute in Reno.
“We’ve gone too long with people not feeling comfortable with reporting,” Renwick told the Review-Journal.
He said an Office on Violence Against Women grant was used to hire an in-house coordinator to field sexual assault cases, help victims file police reports and Title IX complaints, and connect with outside resources.
Adam Garcia heads police at UNLV, the College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College and the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas.
The report is due to go to regents on Thursday for approval. It shows burglary numbers down and vehicle thefts up at both university campuses, although Garcia said most vehicle thefts at UNLV involve golf carts taken for a joyride around campus.
Nevada’s other colleges did not show significant changes from 2017 to 2018.
The numbers are compiled under a federal law requiring universities to disclose to the public at least three years’ worth of campus crime statistics annually.
Recent nationwide studies have reflected similar jumps in reports of on-campus sexual assaults, the Review-Journal said.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported a 205% increase from 2001 to 2014, and the Association of American Universities found that students were more knowledgeable in 2019 than in 2015 when it came to reporting sexual assault and finding resources.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com