ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - University of New Mexico students planning to live on campus spent Friday moving into the dorms.
There are twice as many students now calling campus home, more than 4,000 than in years past.
That in part has UNM addressing what could be a growing problem.
"It bounces between one in four and one in five women at college campuses who may become victims of sexual assault, attempted or completed," said UNM Women's Resource Director Summer Little.
UNM is not immune.
During the 2013 spring semester a student came forward saying she was assaulted at a fraternity house on campus.
However, reporting a rape tends to be the exception, not the rule.
"Traditionally we have very low reporting numbers here at UNM," Little said.
The university is hoping a new program that overhauls how they deal with sexual assaults will change that. It is called 'SART'
"It stands for Sexual Assault Response Team," UNM Police Chief Kathy Guimond said.
The team is made up of on- and off-campus entities including UNM police, the dean of students, Student Health and Counseling, the Rape Crisis Center and SANE, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
Everyone involved is quick to point out that these resources have always been available to victims. It's just that now they can all be accessed through one source.
Each agency has a coordinator that can guide victims and connect them with other services.
SART also puts the victim in control of how their case is handled.
"A victim can choose to use all of those assets that are available or one or two or three or whatever they choose," Guimond said.
One anticipated side effect of SART will be an increase in the number of reported sexual assaults.
"Doesn't mean we have more sexual assaults happening on campus; it just means that our processes are better so people feel more comfortable reporting," said Little.
UNM said another key piece of this program is the fact that it is completely confidential ensuring a victim's privacy as they go through the process.
The university is launching a SART website and will hand out brochures next week, the first week of classes.
In the meantime Chief Guimond said the best point of contact is the Rape Crisis Hotline which is available 24/7. That number is (505) 266-7711
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