11 More Rapes Were Reported On Campus Compared To Last Year

By: Tamica Jean-Charles / Asst. Entertainment Director


Eleven more rapes were reported in FIU campuses in 2018 in comparison to 2017, according to FIUPD’s annual security and fire safety report released earlier this month.  

A majority of these rapes occurred during the red zone, or the most vulnerable time for campus sexual assaults within universities. 

The red zone occurs during the first day of classes to Thanksgiving break, a time most students are participating in new college activities–events that commonly involve heightened amounts of alcohol and risk-taking behavior, says Jacob Burns, program coordinator for the division academic and student affairs. 

The University offers different avenues for students to take when faced with sexual assault. If a student wishes to take legal action, they can reach out to student conduct and set up an investigation. 

Devin Parra, associate director of student conduct and conflict resolution, says his department’s role is to provide students with an honest and reliable trial. Both the complainant and the assailant will be notified after initial reports. 

If the accused is found guilty after deliberation of evidence from a special selected council, the council will then decide on what actions to take on the student; a punishment can range from an educational, such as a suspension or expulsion, and a community reprimand, such as a reflection paper. 

The defendant is referred to services, like Counseling and Psychological Services and its Victim Empowerment Program if they so wish to seek further help during the investigation. 

Burns says programs like It’s On Us, CAPS, and VEPS do their part to help rape victims. As much work the programs put in towards educating students on sexual assault before, during, and after the red zone, Burns says students should be aware of the dangers all year long. 

“If we have that information readily available and accessible to us then we are far more likely to handle that trauma better,” said Burns. 

A majority of the reports were transferred over from the CAPS’s Victim Empowerment Program, according to University Police Chief Alexander Casas. 

“I think all of the things we are doing have made a substantial impact on people deciding to report more,” said Burns. 

Wendy Ordóňez, outreach and educational media manager for CAPS, believes their assertive social media and overall outreach campaign has influenced the increase in reports over the past few years. Ordóňez says the department has seen a 35% increase in students seeking help since implementing its bathroom signs in fall 2016. 

CAPS and VEPS places a lot of its focus on helping the student on their own terms. Police reports are only made if the student so wishes, if not, then the program will focus on psychological assistance, according to Ordóňez. 

“It’s never a one size fits all situation,” said Ordóňez. 

The Office of Title IX did not respond to numerous attempts to talk about the report.


If you or a loved one have been affected by sexual violence and wish to seek help, visit caps.fiu.edu



2 Comments on "11 More Rapes Were Reported On Campus Compared To Last Year"

  1. The Victim Empowerment Program offers confidential assistance by licensed mental health professionals. In addition to crisis intervention and trauma-informed care, Victim Advocate Counselors provide a wide range of supportive services to help students with disruption to their daily lives and academic pursuits. Assistance is available 24/7 for urgent care: call 305-348-2277–and by appointment or walk-in at the Counseling center.

  2. Why doesn’t the Title IX office respond to questions?

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