Sex assault complaints increase at Washburn University in 2014

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The number of reported incidents of sexual assault on the Washburn University campus tripled from 2013 to 2014.

A day after the University of Kansas reported that it numbers had increase from 120 to 169 year to year, the Topeka-based Washburn tells KSNT News it’s number climbed from 2 reported incidents in 2013 to 6 in 2014.

University spokesperson Amanda Hughes, Assistant Director of University Relations, says part of the increase could be attributable to increased awareness of the problem on the campus.

“Washburn has continued to partner with many community agencies and programs to provide support of our students, faculty and staff,” she said in a written statement. “What’s more, we have provided face-to-face training on sexual harassment and sexual assault to 675 students, faculty and staff this past fall alone. That training is in addition to the online training required of all new Washburn employees – training which must be repeated every three years.”

The University has still not been notified of the results of a federal investigation last fall of how the school handled two sexual assault cases in early 2014. That investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which is also investigating how similar cases were handled on the University of Kansas campus in early 2014.

In both cases, the government asked for all records of how the alleged assaults were handled by campus authorities, as well as copies of all training and policies the two Universities have in the area of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The investigation in the Washburn case began early last fall, and is part of President Obama’s effort to draw more attention to the issue of campus sexual assaults and harassment.

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