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Campus Sex Crime Reporting Increases, Says U.S. Education Dept.

Reports of sex offenses on college campuses provided to the Education Department have nearly doubled over a five-year period.

In a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., released Tuesday by her office, department officials said they believe the increase is the result of federal enforcement efforts and growing public attention to the issues of campus sexual assault.

In 2009, there were 3,357 such sex offense cases reported to the department in annual crime statistics reports, compared to 6,073 cases in 2013, the letter said.

Education and law enforcement officials say sex offenses are underreported crimes, and the true number of such cases is likely much higher.

The Obama administration has taken several steps to push colleges and universities to better tackle the problem of sexual assault, including releasing the names of colleges and universities facing Title IX investigations for their handling of such cases.