****CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of rapes at each school in Maine. We inadvertently doubled the numbers of disclosed rape cases at multiple Maine colleges. The figures in this version of the story are accurate. We regret the error.
BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A Washington Post study named Bowdoin College as the seventh highest school in the nation for reported rapes per 1,000 students.
Bowdoin reported 8.3 rapes per 1,000 students according to the article.
Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to report crimes to the U.S. Department of Education. in 2014, the law changed, separating rape into its own category, unique from other sex offenses.
The DOE shows that in 2014, the latest data available, Bowdoin reported 17 rapes. The University of Maine in Orono also reported 17. Bowdoin has an enrollment of 1,805. UMaine has an enrollment of 11,286.
"That data reflects the year in which the incidents were reported, not when the incidents actually occurred, therefore, as was the case in schools across the country, Bowdoin saw an increase in those numbers," said Bowdoin director of news and media relations Doug Cook.
Cook added that the college realizes this is a national problem. He says the goal is to make students feel more comfortable about reporting. The school increased training for faculty and staff, and has added anonymous reporting.
"Every survivor has a different experience," said Maye Emlein, the education program manager at the Sexual Assault Resource Services of Southern Maine. "There might be a lot of complicated feelings involved around the assault. Maybe they are afraid and don't know what would happen once a report is made and don't really want to go through the legal system."
Other colleges in Maine did not report as many rapes as either Bowdoin or UMaine.
- Bates College: 5
- Colby College: 4
- Husson University: 1
- Maine Maritime Academy: 1
- University of New England: 1
"It's hard to say whether there have been more reports or fewer reports. It's hard to trace that trend because there are so many people who don't report for various reasons," said Emlein. "I would encourage somebody who's been impacted by this to reach out to whomever they feel comfortable with."
Bowdoin College has added a number of resources for students relating to sexual assault in the past two years. There is now a Director of Title IX Compliance, who helps students understand their reporting options. Bowdoin has also added another position, Associate Director of Gender Violence Prevention & Education, to further help in this effort. Every year students participate in programs to help prevent sexual assault, including bystander training.
Cook said he believes the reason many students reported their cases years later is because the college made it easier for them to report.