DAVIS (CBS13) — The number of rapes on the UC Davis campus doubled in the last year according to the university’s annual Clery Act Crime Statistics.
Sexual assault is something UC Davis leaders take seriously, so when the number of rapes involving students doubled from seven to 14 last year, police took notice.
“It’s concerning,” said Capt. Mark Brunet with UC Davis police. He says rapes can be reported to several agencies.
“They can choose to go to our CARE group which is an advocacy group, they can choose to pursue criminal charges and notify police department, they can choose to pursue title IX,” Brunet said.
His department investigated half of the incidents and found a common thread.
“Every one of those was relationship-based, meaning the assailant was known to the victim,” said Brunet.
He believes the number of reports has increased due to the Me Too movement, which has created less stigma for victims.
“I think with this new movement, they are more willing to say that was wrong and to report it,” said Brunet.
Jason Yin, a senior, agreed. “I think there has been a tonal shift with the Me Too movement and how it’s empowered women and it’s had a tangible effect on men.”
Students say the university has ramped up efforts to increase awareness in recent years.
“During orientation, they did tell us about incidents that had happened before and tipsy taxi and the blue lights,” said Ashley Farfan, who is a senior.
And they now feel more of a responsibility to combat sex assault.
“Among friends, there’s a lot of things we can do to keep ourselves accountable if we go to a party, just to be safe about it,” Farfan said.
Their goal is to prevent anyone else from becoming a victim, because even one rape is too many.
Sac State, which is home to 31,000 students, did not see an increase in the number of people reporting rapes last year.