Culture of Respect exists to eradicate campus sexual assault. At the heart of making change around the issue of campus sexual assault is the kind of transparency that Culture of Respect advocates in our CORE Blueprint. Transparency is a critical element of the CORE Blueprint’s Six-Pillar Strategy and embodies a school’s willingness to understand and acknowledge the nature and scope of crime on campus.
All schools are required to publish data on campus sexual assault under the federal Clery Act, and while low numbers of reported sexual assaults may sound appealing, low numbers may actually be an indication of flaws in university policies that prevent and address sexual assault or a climate that discourages reporting. We believe transparency in reporting and companion climate surveys are critical to understanding the incidence of campus sexual assault and the effectiveness of our efforts to prevent it.
A new initiative by New York State is a website, http://www.campuscrime.ny.gov/, that tracks crime at 593 college campuses across New York. Making this kind of information readily available shows an openness that will bring real understanding to campus sexual assault.