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Registered Sex Offenders At Most Texas Universities
Updated: Friday, January 31 2014, 03:45 PM CST
The White House recently released a report that states one-in-five women are sexually assaulted during college, and only 12 percent of victims report the assault.
Experts with Texas Association against Sexual Assault (TASA) said women and men in college are especially vulnerable, because they are not as likely to report the crime or tell anyone about it.
Chris Kiaser is a staff attorney with TASA, and he said about 75 percent of victims know the perpetrator. Still, that leaves a big chunk of survivors who are sexually assaulted by strangers.
KEYE TV investigated who is allowed on campuses with people's children, and discovered at most big-name universities in the state of Texas, convicted sex offenders work and walk among students.
Elizabeth Weaver, a University of Texas student, says the alarming number of people who are victims of violent sexual crimes, unfortunately, does not shock her.
"I know quite a few people who have been, in some way, sexually assaulted," Weaver said.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the UT has three registered sex offenders affiliated with the campus. Texas A&M University has six, which two are employees and four are students. Texas Tech University also has six, and out of that number one is an employee. Texas State University in San Marcos has eight registered sex offenders on campus, and the University of Houston has nine.
"It's a tricky issue," Kaiser said. "We do know that there is a greater likelihood that sex offenders will re-offend if they are ostracized from society."
But, for UT students it paints a disturbing picture.
"That's definitely not ideal," Weaver said. "It's not very comforting."
Regardless of who commits the crime, sexual violence usually leaves permanent pain with the victim.
Elizabeth Burrows is with the UT organization Voices Against Violence. She said one of the biggest challenges is that victims often feel like a sexual assault is their own fault.
"We live in a world that stigmatizes sexual violence and typically blames a survivor for their experience," Burrows said.
To help change the culture, universities across the nation are putting in more efforts to create safer campuses. Several schools have programs that help survivors feel safe to come forward after an assault.
"You're not going to get a registered sex offender at all if survivors are not willing to tell their story to anyone," Burrows said.