“Sexual assault is probably one of the most underreported incidents that happen around campus and around the country”, says Charles Leone, Temple University Executive Director of Campus Safety Services.
Leone aims to have as many options as possible when it comes to reporting sexual assault. Title IX’s online anonymous reporting system is one way to do just that.
“They have the option to give information about themselves, does not have to be involved with the police. However we will still take the information because we want to make sure we count that in our clery crime statistics,” he says.
These statistics were released by the Temple Police in their 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. It concluded that reported rapes doubled on campus from 6 in 2016 to 12 in 2017. Reported aggravated assaults spiked from 2 in 2016 to 5 in 2017.
“Half of them came directly to us when people call, and we investigate. The other half comes through title IX,” Leone mentioned when describing where these incident reports come from.
Students university-wide received the report directly to their inboxes, yet not everyone was how informed of the kinds of numbers it contained.
“I didn’t know about it, so this is the first time I’m hearing of it,” Temple Freshman Hannah Langcomer-Smith shared.
Freshman Ly’Nese Setorie did hear of the numbers. “I found out about on social media, through Twitter and Instagram and stuff.”
These spiking numbers are causing concern for students around campus.
“It’s a little surprising because dorms are thought of like safe spaces on campus because you have like the front desk and security and it’s like, that’s your home and you’re supposed to feel safe in your home,” Setorie said.
Leone has some advice and warnings for students to help them stay safe and avoid any unsafe situations. One option he mentions is step up and be a good bystander. “Where you see something, and you can kinda see when someone is forcing themselves upon somebody, it may not be sexual at the time but you can see the attitude changing, that might be a good time to step in – to say something,” he said.
Leone also mentioned safe party etiquette tips like double checking drinks, keeping an eye on each other, and even having a code word handy – just in case.