Reported Cases of On-Campus Rape at UNL Doubled in One Year
Students Becoming More Vocal to Raise Awareness
Lincoln, Neb. (KLKN)-According to the 2021 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report, reports of on-campus rape at the University of Nebraska Lincoln doubled from 2019 to 2020.
Something to note, although the number of reported cases jumped from 13 to 26 in one year, there was one victim who reported multiple cases of unwanted sexual encounters with a partner. Each one is reported as rape and leaves the victim with trauma.
“This person is supposed to love you and care about you and protect you, keep you safe and at the same time they are doing something that makes you feel unsafe, makes you feel traumatized, victimized, so it’s very conflicting,” said Marla Sohl Voices of Hope Sexual Assault Services Coordinator.
Reports of dating violence on UNL’s campus more than doubled from 7 reported cases in 2019 to 23 reported cases in 2020.
“It’s not uncommon though. About half of sexual assault victims experience intimate partner sexual assault. It’s not very common to report it. People don’t report it for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, there is this idea that it is between themselves and a stranger or somebody that is an acquaintance,” said Sohl.
Students at UNL have become more vocal on the issue, holding candle-lit vigils, and protests to raise awareness.
“It’s not easy to go through something like this, and we don’t want anyone to go through it alone,” said Sohl.
“I think we’ve made it a safe space here on campus for victims to come forward, but it still takes a lot of courage for them to come forward. We’ve shown that we do care and that we want them to share their experiences,” said Rachel Freeman Student at UNL.
But students feel more needs to be done to stop cases from rising.
“We can do as much as we can as a community, but it really comes down to a change within the administration and within the school as a whole,” said Freeman.
If you are a victim and need someone to speak with who will understand what you are going through, reach out to Voices of Hope or call their 24-hour crisis line at 402-475-7273.
If you are not near the UNL campus, here are more resources in Nebraska.