Boston area colleges have experienced an increase of sexual assault reports over the past five years, according a Boston Globe report. The increased number of reported assaults may actually be a good thing, however.

“We constantly tell parents and students that higher sexual assault numbers aren’t necessarily a bad thing,” Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center for Security On Campus told the Globe.  The increase is due, in large part, to a higher rate of reporting assaults and not an actual increase in assaults.

For example, Harvard had the highest number of reported sexual assaults of all of the Boston schools with an average of 10 per 10,000 students.  Roughly 5.2 percent, or 520 out of every 10,000, students is sexually assaulted each year, according to a study funded by the Department of Justice in 2007.

Harvard’s reported incidents, while far below the federal estimate, is likely a result of concerted efforts by university officials to better address the issue of sexual assault by implementing more “services and resources to help students learn about sexual assault prevention and response,” the Globe said.