While crimes on college campuses as a whole may have decreased by 29 percent, 2014 data reveals that reports of campus sex crimes continue to grow.
In fact, data released by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics released just over a month ago reveals that forcible sex crimes at private and public colleges in the United States have increased by a staggering 77 percent since 2001. This number has been widely attributed to an increase in reporting, not an increase in crimes themselves, but actions must be taken by universities to stop these crimes regardless.
In fact, increased scrutiny in recent years has led to federal, state and local officials becoming involved with campus efforts to revise their policies to prevent further incidents and increase enforcement actions.
Here in Cincinnati, law enforcement has become involved in sex crimes cases involving most major universities, including the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and Xavier University. Unfortunately, this cross-jurisdictional effort has not yet seemed to stem the tide of campus sex crimes.
Prevention Efforts Still Not Preventing Campus Sex Crimes
Despite increased enforcement, the Association of American Universities reported in September that more than 27 percent of female college seniors reported experiencing some form of unwanted sexual contact during college. This number is higher than reported previously, and some say that such incidents are still underreported.
Many advocates suggest that these numbers reflect a need for universities to help students better clarify consent through education and other awareness programs. Universities tend to focus on enforcement heavily, but there is still much more that can be done in terms of prevention. So far only 125 universities in the U.S. — and none in Cincinnati — are working with the CDC’s Rape Prevention and Education program to implement sexual violence prevention strategies and activities on campus.
The good news is that efforts are being made every year to decrease sex crimes on college campuses, especially programs have shown to bring about real improvement. In the meantime, enforcement for sex crimes at the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Xavier University, and any college campuses around Cincinnati will continue to be heavy.
Been Charged? A Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
For defendants who have been charged with campus sex crimes, the help of a skilled Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer can be vital to preserving your future — and your freedom. These are charges that can have long-term consequences, including:
- A jail or prison sentence
- Costly fines and court fees
- Requirement to register as a sex offender
- Permanent criminal record that impairs your ability to get a job or rent housing
In addition, you may face disciplinary action from your college or university for sex offenses committed on campus.
If you are facing accusations of involvement in a campus sex crimes case in Cincinnati, you should take the charges very seriously. Call the Cincinnati sex crimes lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates right away at (513) 338-1890 to set up a free consultation about your case and to discuss your legal options free of judgment.