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TBI Report: Vanderbilt Has Highest Number of Rapes -- Mikayla Lews

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released the 2013 "Crime on Campus" report earlier today. Compared to all state colleges in the report, Vanderbilt University had the highest amount of reported rapes on campus last year.

The high profile Vanderbilt rape case involving four former football players put a new focus on sexual assault last year. That alleged rape is just one of eight reported at the school in 2013.

The TBI says UT Knoxville had four cases and Middle State University had three. Both schools are about twice the size of Vanderbilt's less than 13,000 student body.

Taylor Walker said, " I mean I wasn't surprised..."

Taylor Walker graduated from Vanderbilt last May. When she was a junior though, she was raped leaving her dorm at Kissam Hall. In February 2012, she says she left her room and walked across the street to the Vanderbilt parking garage. When she got off the elevator, a man got behind her, pushed her in her car and sexually assaulted Walker.

Taylor Walker said," It's like everything is slow motion, it's an out of body experience. I hope it's the scariest thing I have to face, but I have come a long way though."

Through therapy, Walker says she got through blaming herself and suicidal thoughts, common to victims. She is now helping others through the Nashville Sexual Assault Center. Walker and Vanderbilt Police agree rapes are under reported across the country.  Vandy started several programs to reduce rape and increase awareness on campus.

Vanderbilt Assistant Police Chief, Joseph Bishop said, "We're proud of our efforts that people feel comfortable to report and we hope those numbers reflect those efforts."

Taylor Walker added, "It's kind of a hard statistic to really look at know andfor sure what it represents. It could just mean that more people on Vanderbilt's campus are reporting rape, in which that would be a good thing.."

Taylor Walker's is headed back to court this summer for her rape trial against Tyrone Batts accused of her attack. Walker hopes other victims speak out about their attacks, so rapist stay behind bars.

Vanderbilt sent this statement to Fox 17 in response to the report:

Statement from Beth Fortune, vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt University:


We are committed to reducing sexual misconduct on our campus.  Over the last few months, we have had focused discussions with our students, faculty and staff to communicate how seriously we take sexual misconduct and all we are doing to address it, and to listen to and learn from all members of our campus community.  Those discussions are continuing.  We want to make it as easy as possible for victims of sexual misconduct to get the services they need.  To that end, we have launched a website, www.vanderbilt.projectsafe, that provides, in one place, access to sexual assault support and prevention resource information.  Based on what we have heard from our students, we also are transforming an existing office for our Project Safe program, currently housed within our womens center, into an independent center and increasing its resources to expand its reach and to dispel any notion that addressing sexual violence is a womens issue.  We have distributed posters throughout our campus with a clear message Sex Without Consent Is Sexual Assault -- so there can be no doubt about whether conduct is improper.  We are working with our faculty to provide them with the information they need should they be in a position to assist a sexual assault victim.  We are also expanding our Green Dot program, and asking faculty members to increase their participation, to clearly underscore that power-based personal violence is a serious problem that will not be ignored, and that victims will be supported.


These initiatives build on programs and services Vanderbilt has long provided.  They are part of a larger continuing effort to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to address this important issue.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17.

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