INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The nonprofit End Rape on Campus has premiered a database that allows people to compare statistics on sexual assaults at universities across the United States.
Only six universities in Indiana are represented in the database, but the organization that created it tells I-Team 8 that it’s working to add more.
The interactive map allows people to compare rape, fondling, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence statistics from 2018 to 2020.
Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University, Ball State University, the University of Southern Indiana, Goshen College, and IU Northwest are the Indiana schools included in the data.
Among those schools, Purdue had the highest average enrollment and also the most rapes, 70, from 2018-2020. Indiana University Bloomington had the second-highest average enrollment and had the second-most amount of rapes, 68, during that time period.
Beth White, president and chief executive officer of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, told I-Team 8, “I feel like these numbers are low compared to what’s actually happening.”
White explained the numbers might not tell the whole story. “Sexual assault, specifically when we’re talking about young people, is the most underreported crime that we experience.”
End Rape on Campus’ leaders told I-Team 8 compiling the information into one place was not easy. Kenyora Parham, executive director of End Rape on Campus, “Whenever you’re looking for this information it’s scattered across federal databases. It’s hard to find on different websites on colleges and universities where you have to go through webpages upon webpages just to simply find one piece of information at times.”
Why aren’t private universities, such as Notre Dame and Butler, included? Parham said, “It just it takes a lot of time for our volunteers to crowdsource and fact check the data that we’re deriving.”
The goal is to eventually add as many universities as possible. “Our hope is to add at least 2,000 schools by the end of the year,” Parham said.
End Rape on Campus’ volunteers will continue to update the database yearly as new data becomes available. The nonprofit hopes prospective students use the database as part of their college choice decisions. Parham said, “Our hope is that we’re revolutionizing the conversations that are happening in the household that allows that student to make a more holistic and informed decision.”
The leader of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking says parents should also use the database as a conversation starter with their kids about sexual assault.
I-Team 8 reached out to all six colleges in Indiana included in the database. The University of Southern Indiana said they would send a statement by the end of next week. The others universities did not respond with a statement by 5 p.m. Friday.
UPDATE: The University of Southern Indiana and Purdue University have provided the following statement to News 8:
University of Southern Indiana
The University of Southern Indiana takes allegations of discrimination and harassment, including sexual misconduct, seriously whether from students, staff or faculty. Allegations of sexual misconduct are handled by USI Public Safety, local law enforcement and the USI Institutional Equity Office. The University has policies and procedures in place to handle reports and to conduct investigations in accordance with state and federal regulations directed at equal opportunity, title IX, affirmative action and equal access.
It is unclear how the data provided by Endrapeoncampus.org was collected, but we appreciate the efforts to provide constructive feedback. The data provided reveals USI makes it a priority to support the student body and greater community when it comes to sexual misconduct violations. The University’s goal is to always provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination where all members can achieve their highest potential. USI’s values are documented throughout policies and procedures, which are adapted and continuously updated in accordance with the field’s current best practices.
In addition, the University takes extra steps to provide services in real time to meet the needs of the parties involved. This means USI utilizes campus resources and community resources to provide the most useful resources for the University community. The University has contractual agreements or memorandums of understanding with county SART, local law enforcement, advocacy centers and accessibility providers to meet the needs of all our community members on an emergency basis.
Please feel free to view our accessible website at https://www.usi.edu/institutional-equity\ for additional information about our policies, practices and resources.
Even one sexual assault is one too many and we hope everyone knows that we have many individuals and offices on campus working hard to provide education, resources and support for our students — from our Office of the Dean of Students; our Center for Advocacy, Response & Education; our Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Equity; Counseling and Psychological Sciences; our Student and Residential Life teams; and specially trained officers in our Purdue Police Department, to name just a few.