IVCSD Preliminary Study Identifies Problems With Sexual Assault Case Reports
On Tuesday, the Isla Vista Community Service District (IVCSD) presented a preliminary report on sexual assault and misconduct cases at UCSB and Isla Vista.
According to the report, most of the rapes took place in Isla Vista, followed by the halls of Santa Catalina and the villages of San Clemente. In Isla Vista, 14 rapes were reported in 2017 alone, up from two in 2015. In Santa Catalina, six rapes were reported, an increase from the two reported in 2015. Data from San Clemente Villages did not specify the cases per year.
Matan Bostick, public policy intern for IVCSD, wrote the study, which examines information from over 30 articles from 2013 and discusses sexual assault and harassment in Isla Vista and UCSB. It also includes police data provided by the UCSB Police Department (UCPD) and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP).
The increase in the number of reported rapes and assaults could indicate that more students are reporting these incidents or that there has been an increase in these crimes, according to Bostick.
UCPD data from 2015 to 2017 also separated incidents into broad categories, categorizing them under “Sexual assault” or “Sexual offenses”. Data provided by the UCPD indicates that most sexual offenses took place during the fall quarter, while the majority of reported rapes took place during the months of February, March and October.
Bostick says broad classification limits efforts to tackle IV sexual assault
“It brings it all together,” Bostick said. “It might be helpful to have a more closed and detailed classification of the specific event that occurs, as there is a huge difference between statutory rape and something like peeping.”
The report also shows that most rape cases go unreported to the Santa Barbara County prosecutor. In 2015, only three out of 20 reported rapes were transmitted to the DA
The preliminary report comes after a month and a half of compiling and reviewing the data, according to interim chief executive Jonathan Abboud.
After receiving limited data from the IVFP, the council asked for more details on the specific places where the incidents occurred and when they did occur. However, the IVFP rejected their request, claiming the information was confidential. After discussing the matter with the district council, the council responded to the IVFP, assuring them that they had been informed that this information was public and not confidential.
IVCSD is counting on the inclusion of detailed data to move forward in addressing the serious issue of sexual assault and misconduct in Isla Vista.
“It’s important to see how many of each incident has occurred in order to know where to direct educational efforts,” Bostick said.
The board will again request more detailed data from the UCPD and IVFP to formulate a final report. If the IVFP denies their request, the board will file a public record request, according to Abboud, but that would further delay their efforts. IVCSD hopes to present the final report at a special meeting once the additional data has been received.