ISU Police Investigating Two Reports of Sexual Assault on Campus

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AMES, Iowa --Iowa State Police are now investigating two sexual assaults which the victims say happened in their dorms.

The two most recent reports come on campus. One victim reported being assaulted at Larch Hall back in 2016, the other reported being assaulted at Linden Hall on Sunday.

“I probably get an email every week saying that something's occurred or that there's been a report and I mean as a student, especially a female, that's kind of concerning” said freshman Taylor Shaw.

Ames Police say since school started they've gotten 24 reports of sexual assault, that's up from 16 this time last year. ISU police say five happened on campus up from three this time last year.

“There could be a lot of reasons for that. What we're hoping is that people are just more comfortable reporting, but it could also mean that there's an increase in the actual assaults themselves” said Commander Geoff Huff of the Ames Police Department.

In the latest cases both assailants were described as acquaintances, a common theme for most sexual assaults.

“It varies a little bit on how well they know each other, but certainly acquaintance sexual assaults are troubling because its someone you know and maybe think you can trust, but that's not how it turns out” said Huff.

Both Ames and Iowa State Police are hoping victims will trust them in reporting the crime, but understand it's not that easy.

“You know, sexual assault is a very under reported crime and it's a very personal crime so we respect sometimes victims don't come forward immediately” said ISU Chief of Police Michael Newton.

To try and alleviate those fears Newton says the department has started the "We care please tell us" campaign across campus. The university has started the green dot campaign, a bystander intervention initiative to prevent assaults from happening in the first place; a good step in the eyes of Shaw.

“Honestly there isn't enough awareness about it. I mean, lots of the time you get emails but who's to say you don't just put it right in your trash folder. I think people should be more aware about it because it could be someone two doors down who's doing these types of things in their dorms and they might not even know about it” she said.

ISU has several resources available for victims of sexual assault including the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Thielen Student Health Center and the Margaret Sloss Women's center to name a few.