SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) -The University of Utah released its 2017 crime statistics and some of the numbers are concerning, especially regarding two crimes that typically involve female victims: domestic violence and rape.
While the 2017 Annual Security & Fire report shows many crimes were comparable or even down from previous years, the University had 25 domestic violence incidents in 2017 up from 11 the year before.
Also disturbing: the amount of reported rape cases nearly doubled from 8 in 2016 to 15 last year.
“That’s horrible,” freshman Sidney Kauffman said. “I’ve heard that the U is notorious for rape.”
Asked what she had heard, Kauffman replied, “Well like I know that when people go to parties sometimes its not safe. My friends have had friends who have had problems with that.”
“Being a female on campus is kind of scary,” freshman Taylor Bseiso told News4Utah. “I try not to be here when it gets darker…It’s hard to be a young girl on campus by yourself just out of high school.”
“I make sure I’m not alone at night,” sophomore Sidney Whiting said. “But other than that I think as long as you’re with other people you’re pretty safe.”
University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy says his department is doing everything possible to protect the 24,635 students plus thousands of faculty and staff on campus every day.
“I think that we have a very, very safe campus,” Chief Brophy said. “But anytime you put a bunch of people in the same place, you add certain certain elements of partying and whatnot then I think everybody should be concerned about their son or daughter’s well-being. I think education needs to be had in the home and in school about being smart, traveling in groups and how to make the right decisions in tough situations.”
Chief Brophy says that the increase could be a result of more reporting because of the national #MeToo movement and a University effort to make reporting easier, even anonymously.
“We’re doing our best to improve our outreach, improve our accessibility to our resources,” Chief Brophy said. “We’re hoping that’s working and the reporting continues to go up because it is underreported.”
To read the report, go to: https://dps.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/09/17-0735-2017-Fire-Safety-Clery-Report-Web.pdf