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Survey: 40% Colleges Don't Investigate Sexual Assaults

Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014, 09:57 AM CDT
NATIONWIDE -- Rapes are not investigated at two in five colleges in the country, according to a new survey.

It says about 40-percent of colleges and universities have gone years without investigating a sexual assault. The finding is part of a survey of about 350 institutions, released by a Missouri senator. Federal law requires investigations when an incident is reported; and the number is alarmingly low.

UIS student Cassandra Daniel said, "I do kind of find that surprising honestly. There are a lot of students who are probably going to quiet about what has happened to them. They could be crying out and asking for help and no one's even there to help them."

The report also says 21-percent of institutions do not provide sexual assault response training to their faculty and staff. At the University of Illinois Springfield, staff members do not have formal training related to sexual assault response. We're told that may change.

According to the most recent stats available, at the University of Illinois' main campus, there were 12 reports of sexual assault in 2010, 11 in 2011 and 12 in 2012. Police there say they don't necessarily investigate each rape; it may depend on what the victim wants.

At UIS, there has been one reported sexual assault in the past three years; that was in 2012. Campus police say they investigate all reports of rape.

Student RJ Wwartz said, "At other universities and colleges, I've definitely heard other stories. Here, I always feel safe but I think that's just the regulations we already have."

Sergeant Brad Strickler says their policies are constantly reviewed and updated as needed.

In addition, UIS officers go through training on responding to sex crimes; unlike 30-percent colleges in the recent survey.

"We do investigative trainings. We go to training for sexual assaults, investigating all kinds of sex offenses," Strickler said.

UIS also offers a self-defense class to students, staff and faculty. "Student safety is our number one priority on campus," Strickler said.

Colleges and universities surveyed were granted anonymity, in order for the survey to get the most candid information.

Missouri senator Claire McCaskill said these findings will be followed in the coming weeks by introducing comprehensive, bipartisan legislation.

Click here for a link to the full report on sexual assault cases at colleges nationwide.Survey: 40% Colleges Don't Investigate Sexual Assaults

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