BOSTON — A review of federal statistics shows that reports of sexual assaults on Boston-area college campuses have risen sharply over the past several years.

Reports of “forcible sex offenses” rose by nearly 40 percent between 2008 and 2012 across 22 of the largest campuses in the region. The total of 113 sexual assaults reported in 2012 at the colleges is the highest in a decade.

The numbers are based on a Boston Globe review of federal statistics supplied by colleges as required under the Clery Act.

Campus experts say the rise in reporting of sexual assaults suggests that colleges are improving efforts to address the problem by expanding education and outreach and by more thoroughly reporting such assaults.

Still, an estimated 88 percent of victims do not formally report sexual assaults.

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