Fewer Sexual Assaults Reported At WMU

Oct 15, 2019

Credit Ben Gretchko / WMUK

Western Michigan University has released its annual crime report. It says some kinds of crime went down on campus last year compared to 2017.

The report is required by the federal Clery Act. One area of improvement at Western was rape. The number of reported cases went from 13 in 2017 to six in 2018. But WMU Director of Public Safety Scott Merlo says even one sexual assault is too many.

“Our numbers should be a lot higher. These are just the incidents reported that we know of. So, are we happy with that? Yes, because they’re decreasing, but are we satisfied with it? No. Ideally we’d like to have zero.”

Merlo says figures for sexual assault might go up in the future, if more survivors report them. Merlo says that's OK.

“I can see more survivors coming forward because they are comfortable when reporting the incident, and that they’re comfortable that by reporting the incident, something's going to be done.”

Merlo says the WMU campus is a safe place overall.

“It’s not 100% crime free but it’s safe. My officers do an excellent job in patrolling our campus and engaging our community and educating our community for crime prevention.”

Other crimes that went down at the university last year include burglaries, arson, and liquor violations.

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