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Reports of rape nearly double at 2 Oklahoma universities


October 6, 2019

Survivor advocates credit increase in reported rapes to undefined

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Crime statistics show that reports of sexual assault nearly doubled at Oklahoma's two largest public universities from 2016 to 2018, which advocates suggest could be partly due to Title IX reforms enacted during Barack Obama's presidency.

The statistics were released this week in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires institutions receiving public funds to release annual reports, the Tulsa World reported.

Morgan Dewey, a spokeswoman for the group End Rape on Campus, said the changes made to Title IX, which bars discrimination at universities, have made schools more helpful in guiding accusers through the Title IX process. But she cautioned that the Oklahoma figures show campus sexual assault is still a big problem.

"One in five women will be sexually assaulted in college," she said. "We know that harm is happening on campuses. Hopefully, students and survivors using these systems and filing these reports means they felt safe and comfortable" enough to do so.

The University of Oklahoma's annual Sooner Safety and Fire Report for 2019 shows that the school had 17 reported rapes on campus property last year, 10 in 2017 and nine in 2016.

At Oklahoma State University's Stillwater campus, there were 25 rapes in 2018, 13 in 2017 and seven in 2016, according to the school's Safety Matters Annual Security Report.

OSU designates personnel and resources to keep its campus one of the safest in the region, said Monica Roberts, the school's communications director. "We invest heavily in sexual assault awareness and prevention programs, and our students know we take this matter very seriously, which contributes to an increase in reporting."

Kesha Keith, OU's communications director, said the university worked to improve communication between its Title IX office and its campus police to increase the opportunity for accurate reporting.


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