In recent years, reports of sexual assaults at Minnesota colleges have risen sharply. Sadly, this seems to be an alarming trend on college campuses across the country. This surge in reported cases of sexual assaults is a clear sign that victims are coming forward more often to report these crimes to college officials and local police, but rising numbers point to an urgent need for further help from state agencies. Victims of sexual assaults in Minnesota are urged to seek the help and advice of a qualified Minneapolis criminal lawyer.
In 2015, The University of Minnesota reported two high-profile rape cases on campus. Reports also show that the school reported an increase of 40% more sexual assaults on campus within the last five years. According to data supplied to officials, the number of reported sex offenses on college campuses across the state has risen by almost 50% within the last five years. These figures mean that one in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses.
Donna Dunn, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault has expressed concerns about the rising number of sexual assaults occurring on state campuses. She advises all victims to come forward and talk to a Minneapolis criminal lawyer about their rights. Due to the alarming statistics, President Obama announced a special task force to address the problems of sexual assault on college campuses and seek a viable solution. According to followup reports by the White House, statistics show:
- One in five college women are victims of sexual assault
- Only 12% of female victims report sexual assaults to the police or a Minneapolis criminal lawyer
- 92% of women who are victims of sexual assault know their perpetrator
Because many women know their attackers and feel partly responsible for a sexual assault, many cases on Minnesota college campuses never get reported to authorities or a Minneapolis criminal lawyer who can advise victims of their rights.
The federal Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act and the recent “It’s On Us” campaign on awareness have encouraged people’s attention on sexual assault topics, Minnesota’s Private Colleges have been working to keep members of their communities safe through training, programming and available resources through a Minneapolis criminal lawyer.
According to a recent national study conducted by the Association of American Universities (AAU), and published in a recent Washington Post report, 23% of women in colleges and universities admitted to some form of unwanted sexual contact experiencedby force or threat of force, or while being incapacitated because of alcohol and drugs. The study was one of the largest ever done. More than 150,000 students participated from 27 colleges and universities, including some of the most prominent schools across the country. In addition to a 23% overall figure, 26% of female seniors said they had experienced sexual assault at some point during their four years in college. At some of the country’s most elite schools, that number climbed even higher: 34% for University of Michigan female seniors, 32% at Yale and 29% at Harvard.
One of the biggest problems with sexual violence on college campuses is that no college wants to admit that it has a problem. Parents don’t want to send their children to a school where data shows more sexual crimes occur. Financial donors are hesitant to give funds to schools with high sexual crime statistics, and national rankings are subject to lower numbers when sexual crimes on campuses are reported.
The Jeanne Clery Act
The Clery Act, signed in 1990, was named for a university freshman who was raped and murdered in her dorm room during 1986. Jeanne Clery was a student at Lehigh University. Originally called the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, this federal statute was established to help protect the safety of all women on college campuses. The Clery Act dictates several requirements to all colleges and universities that receive federal funding.
- They must share information about crime on campus. They must inform the public of all crimes committed in or around the campus and state their efforts to improve campus safety. This information must be made available to the public through each university’s annual security report.
- They must provide victims of sexual dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking with favorable options for changes to academic and living situations. They must also provide assistance in notifying local law enforcement if the student chooses to file a report with Minnesota police and a Minneapolis criminal attorney.
- They must outline specific policies and procedures related to timely warnings and emergency notifications in their annual security reports. All options given to victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking must be reported in annual reports.