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Officials Call Increased Rape Reports "Normal"

Penn State officials say while it may seem like the number of rapes is increasing, it's actually the number of reports that are increasing instead.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - Another rape was reported to Penn State Police over the weekend, bringing the total reports so far this school year to 11.

Penn State officials say while it may seem as though the number of rapes is increasing, it's actually the number of reports that are increasing instead.

The most recent report was made to Campus Police over the weekend. Police say it happened in a dorm in Pollock Residence Hall on the university's main campus sometime between September 4 and 5.

Since August 23, 11 sexual assaults have been reported to police. Of those, the majority are cases where the victim knows their attacker.

Officials say this increase in reporting is happening on campuses nationwide and say it's all thanks to a heightened awareness of sexual violence.

"Every time a sexual assault or a rape is reported, it's made public in a way that it wouldn't have been at a prior time," University Center for Women Students Director, Peggy Lorah, said. "We really are seeing about the same number of sexual assaults and rapes that we've always seen."

She says it's important to be aware of your surroundings, even when you're with people you know, as the majority of rape or sexual assaults happen between two people who know each other.

"It's really important for people to know this isn't an epidemic," Lorah said. "This is something that we deal with every year at this time."
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