By Shelby Toth, Aaron Snyder and Kyle Izard:
Since starting as a Title IX officer at the College at Brockport four years ago, Denine Carr has seen with some of the college’s most sensitive cases cross her desk. She is in charge of following up on reports, and deals mainly with sexual misconduct.
Carr also keeps a log of all her cases over the course of every academic year. She just entered case number 98.
“What I will tell you is that I am very busy,” Carr said. “We have as many reports of nonconsensual sex as we do dating violence.”
Not all the cases that go in her log are necessarily violations of conducts codes. Carr explained there is a “spectrum of behavior” she must record that leads to the higher number. Even so, it is still a startling figure for many on Brockport’s campus.
While the college provides multiple trainings and informational sessions for students to learn about the different ways the college supports victims of sex crimes and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses, the rates of these acts are not broadcasted. However, the school does put out an annual Campus Safety Report that is accessible online. On the report, the number of offenses, VAWA offenses, arrests, referrals and hate crimes reported to the University Police or other college facilities are all listed for 2015-2017.
In Brockport, only one of the seven sexual misconduct or VAWA offenses has experienced growth in reports consistently through the three years. Reports of stalking at the college have risen from zero in 2015, to four in 2016, to 16 in 2017. All other rates jumped from year to year with no discernable pattern.
According to Carr, however, the amount of reports has risen.
“The numbers are higher than last year,” Carr said. “I’ll tell you too, that there is a lot of stuff going on that I never hear about.”
That phenomenon is not exclusive to Brockport, either. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, over 90 percent of sexual assault crimes involving campus students do not report. Another group, RAINN, estimates that only 20 percent of female student victims aged 18-34 report sexual violence crimes committed to them. This percentage would be even smaller for men.
“If it is difficult for women to come in, it is more difficult for men,” Carr said. “Most of the reports are made by women, but there have definitely been reports made by men. Usually they are same sex situations but there is a definite difference in the numbers that come in.”
As for The College at Brockport, the school’s number of reports fall roughly in the middle of other Rochester area schools. Compared to other SUNY schools, though, Brockport has one of the lowest rates of rape reports. While this may seem like a positive to some, Carr explained that a higher number of reports is not necessarily a bad thing.
According to Carr, the more people who are willing to talk about what happened to them increases the chances of it not happening again. Reports help to show the college what it can do to prevent similar crimes from happening in the future.
Students at The College at Brockport who choose to report these crimes can call the University Police or report it to the Title IX office. Students can also utilize the Hazen Counseling Center, as it is completely confidential except in cases where the student is believed to be in danger.
Carr is in the habit of giving handouts to as many students as she can in order to pass along information she believes is important to them.
“I want to let them know what their rights are, what our process is, and what resources are available to them,” Carr said.
If you would like to make a report, Univerisity Police can be reached at 585-395-2222. Hazen can be reached at 585-395-2207. The Title IX office can be reached at 585-395-5042.