But, according to Berkowitz, colleges have been lax in reporting these statistics. "I think part of it is that no one wants to seem like a school where a lot of rapes happen, particularly when all the competitive schools are reporting low numbers," he said. "The reality is that one school is probably not any worse than the next. This is a universal problem."
He also noted that campus judicial systems are "not set up" to deal with serious crimes like rape. "They are established to deal with things like plagiarism and internal violations. Rape is more akin to murder and is a very elaborate crime."
Harvard University officials said they would share the results of its new task force with the “entire Harvard community” in the coming months, said Lassonde, emphasizing students to avail themselves of a “number of resources that address sexual assault and harassment.”
“We look forward to seeing the results of that work,” he wrote.
“To build a community free of sexual violence and harassment will require all of us working together,” Lassonde said. “We take this issue very seriously and it is our hope that no student feels discouraged from reporting an incident.”
“Through our discussions and our actions we must be clear that sexual violence is not tolerated in our community,” he said. “Coming forward is one of the hardest things a person can do, which is why we must work to make it easier to speak to people within our community and get the support and guidance needed in these difficult and challenging situations.”