Rise In College Campus Rape Victims Coming Forward While Colleges Work To Educate Students & Staff

CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Chuck Cantrell, UTC,"There was a time when people thought no meant no, but now the law is yes means yes".

46 rapes were reported at Tennessee colleges and universities in 2014, up from 26 in 2013.

UTC officials are working to make sure students, faculty and parents are more educated about the risks both on an off campus.

Chuck Cantrell, UTC,"There is a lot more interest in talking about sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship violence".

The Rape Crisis Center believes more victims coming forward doesn’t always equate to a rise in new cases.

Caroline Huffaker, Rape Crisis Center, "Or they can go to law enforcement first or they can be brought here by law enforcement if they go to the hospital then the hospital calls us, I think there is a greater connection of people who are service providers for victims all working in unison with one another which means we are able to help a lot more people".

At Shooter’s Depot they tell us sales of mace and stun guns remain steady while there is an uptake for self-defense classes.

Parker McCall, Shooter’s Depot,"Your mace is what the cops carry, you can spray it, it’s an aerosol, its up close and personal but they are a little less expensive, where the pepper spray you can be further away up to 13/14 feet away".

McCall advises parent’s who are concerned about their children heading to college for the first time to enroll them in self-defense classes.

Parker McCall, Shooter’s Depot,"It can just be hand to hand stuff, it’s not I am going to kick your butt but it’s about what do I have to do to get away from the bad guy".

While the number of reported rapes on campus has risen dramatically overall college campus crime has decreased across the state.

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