Rapes increase in 2016 at several Texas universities, latest reports show

Reported on-campus rapes increased in 2016 at several Texas universities, including UNT, UT Arlington and SMU, according to recently released data.

Officials attributed the higher numbers to greater awareness and and more victims willing to come forward.

At UNT, reported rapes rose from seven in 2015 to 13 in 2016. SMU saw an uptick from three to five; the University of Texas at Arlington rose from one to four; Texas A&M saw a rise from 13 to 30; and UT Austin saw an increase from 10 to 16.

Numbers decreased at TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech. TCU dropped from 12 to nine, Baylor 23 to 11 and Tech eight to five.

“We’ve made concerted efforts to educate our community about crime prevention strategies and how to report sexual assaults and other crimes,” UNT Police Chief Ed Reynolds said in a statement. “ Our campus also has worked hard to create a culture where people feel more comfortable reporting crimes, and this does mean that more cases are reported.”

UTA spokeswoman Sana Syed said in an email that the university has emphasized to students the importance of reporting sexual assaults and other dating violence crimes.

“If individuals understand that UTA expects them to report the violence, and will support them when they report it, they are more willing to report violence whether it be against themselves or friends/roommates,” Syed said.

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