Editor’s Note: This story includes mention of sexual violence or assault. Resources are available here.
The IU Police Department received three separate reports of sexual assault Nov. 17, according to IUPD Public Information Officer Hannah Skibba.
On Nov. 17, officers responded to IU Health Bloomington Hospital to meet with an individual, who is not affiliated with IU, who wanted to report a sexual assault that occurred Nov. 15 in Foster Hall. Skibba said the suspect in this case is known by the victim and the investigation is ongoing.
On the same day, Skibba said IUPD received two separate reports from IU’s Title IX Office.
Skibba said one report was about a student who had been sexually assaulted Nov. 16 at the Indiana Memorial Union. This incident has not been reported to IUPD by the individuals involved and has been referred to university officials for review.
The other report from the Title IX Office regarded a student who had been sexually assaulted Feb. 11 at an on-campus residence hall. This incident has not been reported to IUPD by the individuals involved and has been referred to university officials for review.
Two of these reported cases of sexual assault occurred during what is known as the Red Zone, a period from the start of the fall semester until Thanksgiving break where students on college campuses are at higher risk for sexual assault.
According to IUPD’s crime log, there have been 18 rapes and 12 sexual batteries reported on campus since the start of the school year.
According to IU’s 2023 Security and Public Safety Report, there were 38 rapes reported on IU Bloomington’s campus and five rapes reported off-campus in 2022. Off-campus cases include incidents that occurred at any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization, buildings owned or controlled by an institution directly supporting IU’s educational purposes and properties frequently used by students not within the geographic area of the institution. Off-campus incidents also include incidents occurring on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus. In the same year, there were 35 cases of fondling, which is the nonconsensual touching of private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, reported on Bloomington’s campus, with an additional two occurring off-campus.
The number is a marked increase from previous years. In 2021, there were a combined 31 cases of rape on- and off-campus and 21 cases of fondling. In 2020, there were 25 reports of rape and seven reports of fondling, although on-campus instruction paused mid-March that year due to the pandemic and did not resume until the fall.
The amount of rape cases reported in 2022 far exceed reports of robbery, burglary and aggravated assault. But other crimes like domestic violence, dating violence and stalking were reported 22, 33 and 77 times in 2022, respectively. Those numbers had also increased from previous years.
The numbers dwarf reports at other IU campuses, with the closest being IUPUI with nine reports of rape in 2022. However, IU Bloomington has a much higher enrollment than IUPUI and other IU campuses.
Despite these numbers, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report their assaults, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
A list of resources is available here if you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or abuse.