Preliminary IVCSD Study Identifies Issues with Sexual Assault Case Reports

Infographic Courtesy of the Isla Vista Community Services District

Alondra Sierra
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, the Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) presented a preliminary report on sexual assault and misconduct cases that have occurred at UCSB and Isla Vista.

According to the report, most rapes took place in Isla Vista, followed by Santa Catalina Halls and San Clemente Villages. In Isla Vista, 14 rapes were reported in 2017 alone compared to the two reported in 2015. In Santa Catalina, six rapes were reported, an increase from the two reported in 2015. San Clemente Villages’ data did not specify cases by year.

Matan Bostick, a public policy intern for the IVCSD, drafted the study, which examines information from over 30 articles dating back to 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 rise in reported rapes and assaults could indicate that more students are reporting these incidents or that there has been an increase in such crimes, according to Bostick.

Infographic Courtesy of the Isla Vista Community Services District

UCPD’s data from 2015 to 2017 also separated incidents into broad categories, classifying them under “Sexual Assault” or “Sexual Offenses.” The data provided by UCPD indicates that most sexual offenses occurred in fall quarter, while the majority of reported rapes occurred during the months of February, March, and October.

According to Bostick, the broad classification limits efforts to address sexual assault in I.V.

“It clumps everything together,” Bostick said. “It might be useful to have a more closed, detailed classification of which specific event happens because there’s a huge difference between statutory rape and something like peeping.”

The report also shows that most cases of rape are not reported to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney. In 2015, only three out of 20 reported rapes were forwarded to the D.A.

The preliminary report comes after a month and a half of data compilation and examination, according to Interim General Manager Jonathan Abboud.

After receiving limited data from IVFP, the board requested further details on specific locations where incidents occurred and when they occurred. However, IVFP denied their request, saying that the information was confidential. After addressing the issue with the district counsel, the board replied to IVFP, assuring them that they were advised such information was public record and not confidential.

The IVCSD counts 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 happened in order to know where to direct educational efforts,” Bostick said.

The board will request again more detailed data from UCPD and IVFP to formulate a final report. If IVFP denies their request, the board will file a public records request, according to Abboud, but it would further delay their efforts. IVCSD hopes to present the final report at a special meeting once the additional data is received.