Do college campus sex crimes go unreported? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Do college campus sex crimes go unreported?

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The recent reports of sexual harassment at the University of Guam, bring light to a greater issue - the underreporting of sex crimes not only at UOG, but nationwide.

UOG spokesperson Jonas Macapinlac told KUAM News, "What the data shows, based on the Campus Safety and Security Report, shows that there aren't that many incidents overall on campus." In fact the UOG Campus Security and Fire Safety Report for 2011-2013, reports no forcible or non-forcible sex offenses on campus. However, this week the issue was in the limelight due to two publicized cases of sexual harassment at UOG, one involving an unknown perpetrator and another involving alleged unwanted sexual advances made by a UOG professor off=-campus.

"Yes, it does happen, but as far as reports of unwanted advances like in this case, there aren't within my time here at the university, there haven't been too many that I've even been aware of," added Macapinlac.

However, sexual harassment often goes unreported. In fact, despite zero reports of sex offenses at UOG between 2011 and 2013, preliminary findings of an ongoing study at the university by Professor Kelley Bowman show that the majority of UOG students surveyed feel that in their view sexual harassment is occurring at the Mangilao campus.

Surveyed students also demonstrated a lack of information regarding the UOG policy definition of sexual harassment, and what their rights were if an instance of sexual harassment does occur.

UOG Violence Against Women Prevention Program education coordinator Jean Macalinao says UOG tries to address this through outreach, noting, "We do waves, we do table displays, either at the mall or on campus, we do classroom presentations, and we do our best to educate the campus community about the four crimes that our grant focuses on which are sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking."

UOG president Dr. Robert Underwood said, "Our best advice is if you feel uncomfortable, with any kind of relationship, that you immediately tell somebody." Students can report sex crimes to UOG's EEO Office at 735-2244, or Campus Security at 888-2456.

Victims can also reach out to VAWPP or ISA Psychological Center to learn about counseling services and other resources. Head counselor Danielle Concepcion said, "ISA basically provides a safe place for them to talk about their personal issues, so we also help them find alternative ways of coping."

To learn about these services which are both free and confidential, you can call 735-2883.

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