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Rhodes College sees drop in reported campus sexual assaults

Rhodes College campus
Rhodes College campus(Source: WMC Action News 5 (custom credit))
Updated: Oct. 3, 2018 at 5:39 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - This week Memphis area colleges released annual reports about crime on campus.

The goal of the Clery Act--a 1990 law that requires colleges and universities to publish crime stats every year--is to provide transparency.

WMC Action News 5 dug through the reports of more than a dozen Mid-South schools and noticed a significant drop in the number of reported sexual assaults at Rhodes College.

In 2017, Rhodes reported three rapes on campus compared to 15 in 2016 and 12 the year before that.

Tiffany Baker Cox--the school’s Title IX coordinator--attributes the higher numbers in 2015 and 2016 to a multi-year student-led effort around sexual assault awareness.

She said like with the Me Too movement, awareness campaigns often inspire more survivors to come forward.

"I think that was the beginning of that process, so we did have more students come forward at that point in time to report what they were experiencing,” Cox said.

The 2017 sexual assault numbers are similar to what the school reported in the years before that student-led effort.

But this time, Cox said because of the changes students demanded, like ways to report sexual assaults anonymously and a student advisory board, they’re more aware of sexual assault and more comfortable reporting it.

“There are things that maybe happened 10-25 years ago that weren’t acceptable then, but were more tolerated. And I think that is changing with this current crop of students," Cox said.

Below are links to various area campus crime reports:

Christian Brothers University

Rhodes College

University of Tennessee Health Science Center (2017)

University of Memphis

Southwest Tennessee Community College

Memphis College of Art

Harding School of Theology (2017)

Baptist College of Health Sciences (2017)

Memphis Theological Seminary (2017)

Visible Music College (2017)

Concorde Career College - Memphis

Concorde Career College - Southaven

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