Crime report shows increase in rapes on MU campus

Rates spiked in the last four years

COLUMBIA, Mo. - In light of a reported raped near the University of Missouri campus over the weekend, ABC 17 wanted details on how many rapes happened in the last year.

The state's Uniform Crime Report online shows rape numbers have slightly increased. What's more concerning is the amount of rapes compared to the amount of arrests.

Between 2004 and 2010, the rape numbers remain low with only one rape reported or none at all. It's in 2011 that numbers start to increase to around two or three. In the last ten years, 13 rapes have been reported to MUPD, but only four arrests were made in the same time span.

Captain Brian Weimer with MUPD said part of that inconsistency is due to the power that the department puts in the victim's hands.

"What's key to remember in rapes and sexual assaults case is we give the power back to the women," Weimer said. "They may come forward and get all the help they need, but choose not to prosecute."

However, the UCR numbers do not include rapes that happen in "Greek Town" or in East Campus, which are two major student living locations bordering the campus.

That means, the rape that happened on Richmond Avenue over the weekend is not factored in to the two rapes that have happened so far this year. Don't forget the serial predator that struck several women in East Campus last fall.

To find Columbia-specific rape numbers, I called the Columbia Police Department. They did not return my call. You'll remember ABC 17 reported in January that Columbia's rape rates increase by nearly 60 percent from just 2012.

For the students that live just feet away from this past weekend's incident, they're not sure what more they can do to stay safe.

"It makes me question what females could be doing, why men feel that they can approach girls like this, and what cautions we can take to help prevent this situation," said Erika Beyricher, MU student.

MUPD has information for victims, or even friends of victims, on how to report rape incidents. Use the Campus Crime and Fire Safety Report to learn more.

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