UC DAVIS (CBS13) — Sexual assaults on college campuses are on the rise nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics in a study over the past decade.
It's also true at UC Davis, where CBS 13 has obtained the numbers and noted an increase over the last few years.
"So many people that I know like personally have been sexually assaulted and it's treated like a joke, and it's swept under the rug and no one really wants to address it," says Michael Fee, a sophomore at UC Davis.
Another UC Davis student shares the same perspective.
She says, "I think that it's not an openly discussed issue and when it is discussed it's treated as a joke, it's not something that is very seriously addressed."
Reports of sexual assault on campus at UC Davis have gone up over the past four years.
A report by the U.S. Department of Education shows a jump in the number of sexual assaults reported on the UC Davis campus.
There were 15 reports in 2012, and 19 reports in 2014.
The number of sexual assaults inside student housing jumped from 12 in 2012, to 17 in 2014.
CBS 13 asked Andy Fell, spokesman for UC Davis, about what could have caused the spike.
Fell says, "it would be difficult to give an explanation for why you would have a change, the student population is growing obviously but it's important people understand we take sexual assault extremely seriously."
Fell says UC Davis holds a mandatory orientation about sexual violence and consent for incoming freshmen and transfer students.
He also says the university began its Upstander campaign last year to bring awareness to students about sexual assault.
But UC Davis Senior Viola Mai doesn't believe the orientation is effective.
"It didn't tell people how to talk about it or what you could do if it happened, or how you could actually actively work to help other people," she said.
CBS 13 spoke to several students, who didn't feel comfortable going on camera, and they say they often hear about sexual assaults on-campus – but they say nothing gets done.
"We see the crime alerts but we never really hear what the follow ups are -- if there is any resolution," one student commented.
Fell says UC Davis investigated 29 sexual assaults between 2014 and 2015 -- he says 16 of those cases were resolved.
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