Sex crimes, liquor violations remain high at Stanford, report says


Stanford University issued its latest crime report this week with a new "dating violence" sex-crime category and new definitions of stalking, sex offenses, domestic violence and hate crimes.

The Stanford University 2014 Safety, Security, and Fire Report includes crime-statistic comparisons for the calendar years 2011, 2012 and 2013. The 2013 calendar year is based on updated crime categories and definitions as per the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and the Higher Education Opportunity Act, according to the report.

The report provides statistics for crimes listed by the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. It compares 17 crime categories from murder, drug and weapon possession to burglaries. The report does not include bicycle thefts. Sex crimes, including fondling and rape, remain nearly at par with 2012 statistics, which are nearly double that of 2011, according to the report.

In 2013, there were 25 forcible sex offenses, both on and off campus last year, including 14 rapes and 11 instances of fondling. Twenty-three of the incidents were on campus, according to the report.

Under the new definition, rape is "the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by the sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

Rape now includes sodomy, oral copulation and penetration with an object, which were previously under a different category, Stanford Police Chief Laura Wilson said in the report.

In 2013, there were two instances of campus dating violence, which is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Dating violence is not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, according to the crime report.

The university took disciplinary actions in seven cases for liquor-law violations in 2013, but none for sex offenses from 2011 through 2013, according to the report.

Stanford has increased programs to reduce sexual crimes. The Stanford Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education & Response (SARA) provided outreach education to more than 1,600 first-year students and 130 sorority women in 2013. It trained 440 residence assistants, peer health educators,and other residence managers and 125 graduate community assistants. More than 6,500 supervisors and faculty members received sexual harassment training from the Sexual Harassment Policy Office last year, according to the report.

Beginning in October 2014, all new employees are expected to complete a new online course "Addressing Sexual Misconduct in the Stanford Community." The university is participating in the national "It's On Us" campaign, which encourages all students to recognize that everyone has a role in preventing sexual assault.

The university began providing a primary prevention training called "Think About It" to all incoming undergraduate and graduate students starting in August. Training topics cover sexual assault, dating, domestic violence and alcohol consumption. Additional discussions include relationship abuse, understanding sexual consent, defining manhood and masculinity and sexual assault for Greek Life organizations.

The report also looked at other crimes. Stalking increased five-fold, with one incident in 2012 and six in 2013. And weapons charges doubled from two last year to four in 2013.

But the biggest jump was in liquor-law violations, which increased from 40 in 2011 and 54 in 2012 to 88 in 2013.

Arrests for drug violations were slightly up, with six in 2012 and eight in 2013, but those figures are far less than the 20 that occurred in 2011, according to the report.

Stanford saw a significant decrease in aggravated assaults, from 10 last year to two in 2013. Domestic violence dropped from 19 incidents in 2012 to 13 in 2013, but the figure is still considerably higher than the four incidents in 2011, according to the report.

Burglaries also dropped from 102 in 2012 to 94 in 2013. And Stanford had no incidents of hate crimes for the past two years.

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