At the College of New Jersey – where reported sexual assaults quadrupled from two in 2002 to eight the next year, campus officials are touting the higher number as though it were a good thing, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. The college is in the midst of an intensive three-year-old campaign that urges sexual-assault victims to come forward and seek help. Said Catherine Bath of the watchdog group Security on Campus, “All schools’ sexual-assault numbers would quadruple if they started reporting more honestly.” Tew dispute that there are many more college rapes than are regularly reported by schools. A 2000 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found that, over the course of a five-year college career, between one-fifth and one-fourth of women may experience rape or attempted rape. Fewer than 5 percent of victims reported the crime to the police.
It is not unusual for some schools to file crime reports that defy the odds. The University of Georgia (34,000 students) or the University of Nebraska (23,000 students) have reported zero campus sexual assaults in several recent years. As recently as 1997, the College of New Jersey, now with 6,900 students, was also reporting no assaults. The 1992 Clery Act requires all schools that receive federal financial aid to report campus crime. The law is named after Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Ann Clery, who was raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986.