For the safety of students at Ithaca College, Cornell University and residents of Ithaca, victims should strive to always report incidents of sexual assault and rape.
More than 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, according to the Advocacy Center of Ithaca. There is a significant gap between the number of reported rapes and the actual incidence of rape. The simple truth is that if victims don’t report crimes, there can’t be greater strides toward prevention and resources.
In 2011, there were three reported cases of forcible rape in Tompkins County. At the college, the Office of Public Safety recorded one report of rape and three reports of sexual assault in 2011.
Because most rapes are unreported, it can give campus administrators and police false impressions that current efforts are adequate. College students report sexual assault even less often than the general public does. As many as 95 percent of students who are sexually assaulted do not file a report.
While the three recent attacks reported at Cornell University may seem like a high number in a short period of time, it should serve as a wake up call as to how many assaults may really be happening here. If those are merely the reported incidents, it is of even greater importance to encourage those who remain silent to give their voices to the fight against sexual assault.