- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - A newly released report says the number of forcible sex offenses on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus remained unchanged in 2014 compared to the previous year.

The university’s annual crime statistics report shows that there were eight cases of forcible sex offenses last year, including rape and attempted rape. The same number of complaints was reported in 2013, a decrease from the 11 incidents in 2012, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/1iMYHBF).

“Even one reported incident is way too many,” said Dee Uwono, UH-Manoa’s Title IX coordinator. “But it’s our hope that more people will actually feel safe to come and get the help that they need when these things happen to them.”

In an effort to boost UH’s response to reports of sex discrimination, Uwono’s stand-alone office was designated this summer as a central location to handle all complaints received on the Manoa campus.

Uwono said staff has recently been trained and certified as deputy Title IX coordinators to deal with the complaints. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

University officials acknowledge that the increased awareness and outreach surrounding sexual violence crimes on campus could cause an increase in the number of people coming forward to report crimes.

“It’s such an underreported phenomenon that if you see a rise in the reported numbers, it’s most likely indicative of greater awareness and greater willingness to report than some crime wave,” said Nick Chagnon, a UH-Manoa doctoral student studying feminist criminology and an at-large representative for the Graduate Student Organization.

The report also showed the number of domestic violence cases grew to four cases from two the previous year. Stalking incidents fell to eight from 10, while complaints of dating violence jumped to six from four in 2013.

The Clery Act requires universities to release data on crimes reported on or near campus.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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