Especially on college campuses, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and rape can be significantly underreported. While counseling services and other assistance programs see large numbers of women seeking help in the wake of sexual abuse, college campuses and Universities in Washington State report much lower numbers of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

While a federal law called the Clery Act requires schools to report sexual abuse cases, Melissa Tumas, director of the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Center at the University of Washington, explains that sexual assault instances are only officially reported if the women decides to press chargers or have a school hearing. While some school officials are required by law to report abuse, others, like counselors, don’t have to.

Though the University of Washington reported just three cases of sexual assault last year, Tumas says she handles 160 cases a year regarding stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
Molly B. Kenny
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