UK President Eli Capilouto wrote in a campus-wide email Friday that he hoped the increase of publicly reported on-campus sexual assaults this semester is a sign that the stigma around survivors reporting their assaults is eroding.
“What we hope these reports indicate is that more people are coming forward about these incidents as we continue to educate the campus community about reporting options and push back against the debilitating stigma too often associated with these tragedies, and as we further strengthen our support services,” Capilouto wrote in the email.
The email comes after two on-campus sexual assaults were publicly reported by the UK Police on Thursday, raising this semester’s tally to 7—all of which reportedly occurred in dorms. In the spring semester, only one sexual assault was publicly announced by the police.
None of the reports this semester are connected, Capilouto wrote. In previous statements to multiple media organizations, UK Police have also said that the reports are not connected.
“But that in no way diminishes the tragedy of violence and victimization; nor does it affect how seriously we investigate and approach these incidents,” Capilouto wrote.
Capilouto wrote that students, parents and others in the UK community “are raising serious concerns about the reports and how the University is responding.”
Capilouto ended his email by listing some of the resources the university offers to survivors of violent crime and sexual assault—like the VIP Center.
“This issue is a critical and shared concern for our campus,” Capilouto wrote. We will be following up with more information about services and training, and how we respond to these issues.”