NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its 2015 Crime on Campus report Tuesday.
The newly-released report found crime reported by Tennessee colleges and universities decreased by seven percent from 2014 to 2015.
The report also showed an increase of 26.6 percent in forcible sex offenses in 2015.
Officials said that percentage includes an increase in the number of reported rapes from 51 in 2014 to 56 last year.
Advocacy services coordinator for the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville, Jessica Labenberg, explained what the report specifically shows.
“So when we are seeing is an increased number of reports, what that is telling us is that more students are reporting, not necessarily that more students are being sexually assaulted,” said Labenberg.
Labenberg believes the increase in reported cases is reflective of colleges and universities providing education and information to students about sexual assault and letting students know who they should contact for support and to report crimes.
Labenberg also told News 2 rape is still the most under-reported crime. One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
Student Kaylie Williams told News 2 she was required to take a class about sexual violence at her university.
“They just kind of provided us with information on what is consent and who to contact if we were ever concerned about that,” said Williams.
A total of 29 percent of all crimes reported in 2015 were categorized as theft. Click here to view the full report.