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Reported rapes increasing at IU Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The number of reported rapes at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington is climbing, and the problem may be more serious than the numbers suggest.

IU Police tell FOX59/CBS4 that with two months left in the academic year, 24 students have told police they have been raped. That number matches the total number of rapes reported in all of 2021.

“It takes a lot of courage for our students to come forward and make those reports to us.  Every time that happens, we are fully supporting our students and whatever avenue they chose to take,” said Public Information Officer Hannah Skibba.

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But most IU students who’ve been sexually assaulted or raped do not tell the police, according to Sally Thomas, director of the campus Sexual Violence Prevention office.

“There’s a very minimal number of people who decide to report to the police,” Thomas said. “The vast amount of students will come here and seek services and support but won’t report to the police.”

Thomas says her office works to combat misunderstandings by victims about reporting to police, but she notes many worry about being blamed or second-guessed.

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But without a victim willing to tell police about an assault and cooperate with an investigation, prosecution is all but impossible. That leaves the person committing crimes free to continue.

“I would love for our victims to come forward and follow through with the criminal process on this but I know that’s not for everybody. I never push that on any student. It’s not my story to tell,” said Skibba.

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This is not just an IU problem. The number of rapes collectively at the nation’s colleges and universities has gone up each year since the federal government required schools to annually report campus crime statistics.

As reported by Fox 59