- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The University of Tennessee has released statistics showing the number of student sex assaults more than doubled in four years.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1DWZW8t) reports the university released its data last week to all students, faculty and staff.

“We hope that providing more detail about how reports are handled and resolved will help broaden awareness of reporting options, policies and resources,” UT spokeswoman Karen Simsen said.

The data includes on- and off-campus sex assault between students. In 2011, there were 13 assaults reported. By 2014, that number had risen to 29.

Simsen said it is the first time such data about students, regardless of location, has been released.

There were a total of 75 sexual assaults reported in those four years, with 31 being on campus, 39 off campus, and five with the location listed as “unknown.”

The data doesn’t include exact dates or locations.

In 48 cases, the suspect was listed as “unknown,” limiting further investigation. Data found that the university honored a victim’s request to take no disciplinary action in 13 cases.

That left 14 cases to be investigated further. Five cases ended with some sort of suspension. In one case, the evidence didn’t support misconduct, and in two cases the students accused of assault were found not responsible.

Vice Chancellor for Student Life Vince Carilli, who sent the data to students in an email, said the university offers support services to all victims.

“It is important that victims are able to trust that our campus will support them if they choose to report a sexual assault,” he wrote. “All students must be able to trust that our process for investigating sexual assaults is fair and thorough and that it will not inflict additional trauma.”

He ended his email by calling on students to continue the conversation about sexual assaults at UT.

“We are committed to moving forward with this work and recognize the legitimate challenges involved in situations that involve real people,” he wrote. “Please remain engaged in the conversation and our ongoing efforts.”

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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