Perplexing trends in campus crime emerged as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation published its annual "Crime on Campus" study for 2013 on April 4.
Although the study shows that crime reported by Tennessee's colleges and universities decreased overall by 11.6 percent from 2012 to 2013, the individual category of "Sex Offenses — Forcible" crimes reported showed a 25 percent increase.
"It's really hard to say why we see what we see," said Josh Devine, public relations officer for TBI. "But that's just the story for this year. ... We haven't seen any exponential increase over the years."
Ashley Blamey, director of the Safety, Environment and Education Center at UT, said she is oddly reassured by 2013's results, citing the rise in sexual offenses reported as an indication of increased willingness to seek help from authorities.
"We want to see a rise in reporting, and we see that as the outreach efforts working," Blamey said. "Students are becoming more aware of options in reporting. ... That's one of the challenges, your statistics will grow with reporting."