Reed College tops national list of reported rapes

Data showed 12.9 reported rapes per 1,000 students at Reed College in 2014

Jennifer Dowling and KOIN 6 News Staff - PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) --- Reed College has the highest rate of reported on campus rapes in the country per capita, data analyzed by The Washington Post showed.

Newly released data from the U.S. Department of Education shows there were 18 reported rapes at the school in 2014 when over 1,300 students were enrolled.

But Vice President of Student Services Mike Brody tells KOIN 6 News the numbers prove the school is being proactive in encouraging victims to report attacks.

In 2011, Reed College began including lessons on what constitutes consent and sexual assault during freshman orientation. The effort was in response to a letter from the Department of Education asking for better reporting of sexual assaults.

Since then, Brody says the number of reports has risen.

"Everyone that does this work, at that time, knew that if they were effective and successful in that work, they would see an increase in reporting numbers," he said.

"I trust a college more when you see their numbers are closer to what we know nationally is the truth. A college with low numbers is probably not telling the truth or victims don't feel confident in reporting at that institution." - Danielle Tudor, local victims advocate

Brody says there's really no way to know if an increase in reports means Reed College is experiencing higher rates of rape and sexual assault than on other campuses.

"All we know is the reports that we receive," he said. "The goal is, if the student is a victim of sexual assault, that they will come to us and get the help that they need."

The school's efforts to combat sexual assault also include a new hotline, peer advocates and counselors to address the issue, posters and literature around campus, along with online modules that new students must read and watch.

Brody says they'll continue working with students to lower the number of incidents.

"Understanding what a healthy relationship is, understanding how to step in as a bystander: Those are all things we've worked on and will continue to," he said.

The Washington Post's report showed Brown University actually had the highest number of reported rapes with 43 in 2014. However, analyzing the data in context of enrollment puts Reed College in the top spot with 12.9 rapes per 1,000 students.

Wesleyan University came in next with 11.5 rapes per 1,000 students.


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