Incident reports of rape at Northwestern significantly increased in 2016, according to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report sent to students via email on Sept. 29.
The annual report, which is released Oct. 1 each year, details crime statistics over the past three calendar years, and includes data regarding on-campus fires. According to the report, 13 incidents of rape were reported on the Evanston campus during the 2016 calendar year, with 15 incidents reported on the Chicago campus that same year. This represents a marked increase from the nine total reported incidents of rape in 2015 (eight on the Evanston campus, one on the Chicago campus) and four total reported incidents in 2014 (three on the Evanston campus, one on the Chicago campus).
It is impossible to know for certain whether the increase in reported rapes could be related to a recent increase in incidents of sexual assault on campus, or an increasing rate of sexual assaults being reported. As Carrie Wachter, the Coordinator of Sexual Violence Response Services and Advocacy at the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE) at Northwestern told NBN last year, an increase in reported incidents can indicate a cultural shift towards reporting sexual assault, rather than an increase in incidents of sexual assault itself.
On the Evanston campus, liquor and drug law violations leading to disciplinary action saw a notable drop from the previous two years. 267 liquor violations were reported in 2016, down from 426 in 2015 and 415 in 2014, while 46 drug violations were reported in 2016, down from 77 in 2015 and 81 in 2014, according to the report. Crimes such as stalking and domestic violence saw minor decreases from previous years, while among other violent and/or major property crimes, the only notable change was the 33 reported incidents of on-campus burglary in 2016, up from 23 in 2015 and 19 in 2014.