by Stephen DiFiore and Ben Verde
In one year, reported rapes at Purchase have more than tripled.
According to the Clery Report, an annual rundown of crime statistics released by the University Police Department, 13 rapes were reported at Purchase in 2017, a sharp increase from the four rapes reported in 2016, and three reported in 2015.
This coincides with a SUNY-wide rise in reported campus rapes since 2015. SUNY New Paltz nearly doubled their reported rapes, from six in 2015, to 11 in 2016 according to their Clery report. The New Paltz student body is roughly double that of Purchase.
In addition, SUNY Albany, a school which had a student body of over 17,000 in 2014, reported eight rapes in 2015, 26 in 2016, and 17 in 2017.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), rape is more common on college campuses compared to other crimes. Also according to RAINN, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police, so that about 2 out of 3 go unreported. The Clery Report does not include rapes that are not reported to the police.
Chief of Police Dayton Tucker said that he attributes the rise of reported rapes to increased efforts by UPD, the Title IX office and Campus Advocacy Services to educate students of their rights when it comes to reporting inappropriate behavior.
Tucker said that the Clery report accounts for all reported assaults in 2017, including assaults that may've happened in the past but were not reported until that year.
"It does not necessarily mean that there is a rise in the number of assaults that occurred," Tucker said. "But that the heightened awareness of sexual assault in the nation, the state and the campus means that more people are identifying and reporting instances of sexual assault."
"We encourage any student or member of our community to come forward," Tucker said.
Sexual assault survivors can report misconduct to the Campus Advocacy Center at https://www.purchase.edu/counseling-center/emergency/sexual-assault-and-misconduct-help/ or by calling 914-251-6390.