The Isla Vista Community Services District introduced a preliminary report on Tuesday detailing sexual assault and misconduct cases on campus and in Isla Vista since 2013.
The report showed I.V. was the most frequent location of reported rapes, followed by the San Clemente Villages and the Santa Catalina Residence Hall. Between 20 to 25 rapes were reported from 2015 to 2017, according to the report.
The most frequent location of sexual offense — which the report defined differently from sexual assault — is the UC Santa Barbara Library. Eight reports of sexual offenses occured at the UCSB Library, followed by six reports in the Santa Catalina residence hall.
According to the report, the UCSB Police Department (UCPD) defines rape as any type of vaginal, anal or oral penetration without consent of the survivor. Sexual offense includes fondling, incest, statutory rape, indecent exposure, peeping and more.
The report includes UCPD data recorded between 2015 to 2017 and a compilation of articles referring to sexual assault, “hookup culture” and attitudes concerning sexual encounters within Isla Vista, UC Santa Barbara and the greater UC system from 2013 to 2017.
UCSB students had included a sexual assault report card among a list of demands they presented last May to school administrators. In March, the CSD officially began preparing the report.
The Isla Vista Community Services District (CSD) made several records requests to UCPD and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) for detailed information regarding sexual assault and misconduct cases. The information includes the specific location of the incidents that took place.
IVFP denied the CSD’s request on the grounds that the information requested is confidential.
However, the CSD’s legal counsel confirmed that sexual assault reports in the area are public information and the IVFP does not have proper grounds to withhold the information, according to CSD General Manager Jonathan Abboud.
The information, however, lacks critical details, such as the time the incidents occurred, more specific locations and more detailed classifications of the type of sexual violence.
The board also voted to send a letter to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office outlining the goals of the report and requesting more information.
Matan Bostick, CSD public policy intern and author of the report, coded over 30 news articles into categories that best represent the phrases mentioned within each article.
The category with the highest frequency among articles was “Issue[s] with UC process,” which refers to any problems survivors might have with the UC’s process of reporting sexual assault.
The next most frequently cited categories were “Bad Results” and “Delays in Response Procedure.” These categories refer to any perceived injustice on the survivor’s behalf and a lack of appropriate and timely responses by police departments or university systems, respectively.
Bostick used the data from UCPD to organize the information into graphs comparing variables such as location, type of sexual crime, frequency per month and the number of cases forwarded to the District Attorney’s (DA) office.
UCPD distinguishes data relating to sexual violence between two categories: “sexual assault” and “sexual offense.”
The data in the report shows that the number of reported sexual assaults increased by over 50 percent from 2015 to 2017. In each year, however, the majority of cases reported to UCPD were not forwarded to the DA’s office.
Bostick said the shortage of cases forwarded to the DA’s office could be caused by a number of reasons, including a survivor’s choice to not press charges.
The events “are just the tip of the iceberg, especially in regards to sexual offenses which were reported less frequently than sexual assaults,” Bostick said.
Evelyn Spence contributed reporting.
A version of this article appeared on p.5 of the May 10 print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Sofia Mejias-Pascoe is an assistant news editor. She likes to read The New York Times, Washington Post and the tiny blurbs underneath random bottlecaps. She is a proponent of the term “YOLO.”