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Penn State Tops Forcible Sex Assault Report List

A new report is shedding light on the number of reported sex offenses on college campuses and a university in our backyard tops the list.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - A new report is shedding light on the number of reported sex offenses on college campuses and a university in our backyard tops the list.

According to the Washington Post, Penn State University's main campus tops the list of total forcible sex offenses on campus between 2010 and 2012, with a total of 84 alleged assaults.

Schools are required to send this data to the U.S. Department of Education, under the Clery Act Law.

The statistics on the latest report includes data from four-year colleges and universities with at least 1,000 students enrolled in 2012.

"A number of zero doesn't mean it's not happening there," Centre County Women's Resource Center Director Anne Ard said. "It just means it's not getting reported. What that may mean is that people who need help and assistance aren't getting it."

84. That's the number of reported forcible sex offenses on Penn State's main campus between 2010 and 2012.

It's a number Ard said the university should, in a way, be proud of.

"I think that speaks to the university's taking that very seriously and being open to hearing reports of sexual assault, wanting to address those in a positive way," she said.

There's a difference of 24 alleged assaults between Penn State and the number five campus, the University of California-Davis and an even bigger jump of 36, between Penn State and the sixth-ranked Big Ten school on the list, Wisconsin.

Penn State Spokesperson Lisa Powers said 36 of the 63 offenses listed in the 2013 report actually occurred between 1970 and 2011 and some of those reports were made by victims of Jerry Sandusky.

Powers said in the last 20 months, Penn State has trained more than 7,000 individuals about how to report these types of crimes.

Ard credits the Sandusky scandal for the number of reports at Penn State.

"It helps people feel more confident that if they come forward, something is going to happen," she said.

Even though the list does represent some positive aspects, Ard thinks there is still a lot to work on.

"We know that sexual assault continues to be way underreported and that it's happening to a lot more people than we know," she said.

Penn State is required, by law, to report to the Federal Government any time a victim reports a sexual assault. Ard said there are still places in the county victims can go where their report will remain completely anonymous, which includes somewhere like the Women's Resource Center.
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