“Major colleges and universities are undercounting the number of sexual crimes that occur on their campuses in an attempt to downplay the issue, according to new research published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law,” reports ThinkProgress.

From ThinkProgress:

“When it comes to sexual assault and rape, the norm for universities and colleges is to downplay the situation and the numbers,” lead researcher Corey Rayburn Yung, a law professor at the University of Kansas, said in a statement. “The result is students at many universities continue to be attacked and victimized, and punishment isn’t meted out to the rapists and sexual assaulters.”

Under the federal Clery Act, schools are required to report the number of crimes that occur on their campuses, including instances of rape. But over the past several years, an increasing number of universities have been accused of trying to sweep rape under the rug by reporting artificially low numbers. The University of Southern California, for instance, once labeled sexual assaults as “personal injuries” to keep its official rape numbers down.

 In order to collect the data for his new study, Yung analyzed the reports of on-campus sexual assaults at 31 schools that were audited by the U.S. Department of Education for potential Clery Act violations. In other words, the universities that Yung examined had been accused of underreporting, so the government spent a period of time keeping a closer eye on them.
Read the rest at ThinkProgress
Photo: University of Southern California/Wikimedia Commons