HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The fall semester is underway at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as classes started around six weeks ago, on August 14th.
However, not even two months into the semester, a troubling trend seems to be forming.
According to the UAH Police Department Crime Log, which is posted for public viewing, rape on campus may be on the rise. The crime log for September lists four reports of rape in on-campus residence halls. The most recent report was made on Monday, September 25th.
News 19 reached out to administration at the University of Alabama in Huntsville to learn how these cases are being investigated, and if any arrests have been made.
A spokesperson sent News 19 the following statement:
“The University of Alabama in Huntsville takes reports of sexual violence seriously and responds with the utmost respect and urgency. The UAH Division of Student Affairs, Police Department and the Title IX office work collaboratively as needed to research and respond to reports of such conduct in an appropriate manner. The University cannot disclose confidential information about any individual matter or facts and details about any investigation.
Additionally, the University takes a proactive approach to educate our students, faculty and staff on these important issues. UAH provides mandatory annual sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training, and students are encouraged to report any and all allegations at www.uah.edu/makeareport and to law enforcement. Campus safety at UAH will always be a priority.”University of Alabama in Huntsville, Spokesperson
Four reported incidents in just one month mark a sharp increase in reports on campus.
In 2022, UAH released its most up-to-date campus security report. That report totaled only one reported rape on campus between 2019 and 2021. The one rape documented on that report was in 2020, and there were none reported in 2019 or 2021, according to campus police.
However, these numbers may not be painting the full picture of what is actually happening on campus. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes.
RAINN reports that only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Meaning, that two out of three go unreported.
According to RAINN, only 20% of female college students make a report. RAINN says there are many reasons people choose to not report a sexual assault.
In the statement sent by the University of Alabama in Huntsville to News 19, the university said it takes a “proactive approach” to educate students, faculty, and staff about sexual assault and harassment. UAH said it provides mandatory sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training.
The university also said it encourages students to report incidents to police and to also file a report with the Title IX office. UAH students can make a report for themselves or someone else by clicking this link.
RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. It can be reached 24/7 by calling 800-656-4673.