A new Department of Justice report delivers a startling statistic: One in four women will be raped before graduating from college.
But to glance at college campuses around Santa Cruz, the number of rapes on campus is negligible. The impression, though, may be deceptive.
No rapes were reported to Cabrillo College Sheriff's Office for the 2009-2010 school year or since school began again in August, according to Sergeant Paul Ramos.
For the past five years, UC Santa Cruz has averaged two to three rapes reported each year. In 2009, two rapes were reported; so far this year, none.
A recent investigation by the Daily Beast ranked UC Santa Cruz No. 153 of the most dagerous colleges in America. The list included a total of 458 of the largest campuses in the country.
Marion Brodkey, the director of student health services at Cabrillo, attributes the fact that there were no reported rape at the school to it being a two-year community college. The lack of dorms on campus reduces access to parties and alcohol and private rooms.
"In my six months, I know nothing has come through campus health services," she said.
There are no specific services geared toward rape victims on campus, Brodkey said. But that does not mean there are no resources available. The Sheriff offers an escort service to classes for students and staff; health education events throughout the year address rape issues and counseling is available through the health center.
"Of course we would be here to talk with people and get them to the right resources," said Brodkey.
Nationwide, the number of reported rapes may be low, but it's not because they aren't happenning. According to the Justice Department's report, fewer than 5 percent of rapes are reported to authorities.
A recent survey found an estimated 35 rapes per 1,000 female college students per year at both two- and four-year colleges. Based on previous years' statistics, it's clear most rapes go unreported.
"Stranger rapes are rare," UCSC's Rape Prevention website states. "In the past 10 years at UCSC, all rapes reported have been non-stranger rapes, except for one."
In the city of Santa Cruz, the number of rapes reported is much higher — 36 were reported in 2009, according to FBI statistics. That was a marked increase from the 19 cases of forcible rape reported in 2008.