College Sexual Assaults – Research

College Sexual Assaults – Research

Researched for Instant Activism (2015)

College Sexual Assaults

About 30% of women in sororities have been sexually assaulted.

 

@ A Glance

  • An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States, over 90% of them women, were victims of sexual assault over the past five years.
  • About 20% of women surveyed reported experiencing a completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college.
  • 2.5 million women would have been victims of sexual or attempted sexual assaults since entering college, when applying surveys nationally.
  • 5% of men in a college survey reported being sexually assaulted, which nationally would translate to about ½ million men in all colleges being victimized.
  • For the last 20 years, only 20% of women aged 18-24 in college who had been victims of rape or sexual assault reported the incidents to police.
  • In 2014, 85 colleges were under U.S. investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.

 

Fast Facts

  • In the U.S., there were an estimated 300,000 rapes and sexual assaults, reported to the police and unreported, against persons age 12 or older in 2013 and almost 350,000 in 2012, based upon national surveys by the U.S. government.
  • The U.S. figures include threatened, attempted, and completed rapes and sexual assaults against males and females.
  • Only about 35% of sexual violence incidents were reported to police in 2010, from a high of over 50% in 2003.
  • 20% of rape or sexual assault victims stated a fear of reprisal as their reason for not reporting the incident.
  • There were about 80,000 sexual assaults reported or known to law enforcement in 2013, whether there was an arrest or not, including those subsequently determined to be unfounded, and about 40% were cleared by arrests or exceptional means.
  • The FBI publishes offenses, including sexual assaults, known to law enforcement by universities and colleges.
  • Studies have found between a 2 and 10 percent rate of false reporting of sexual assaults to law enforcement.
  • Serial rapists perpetrated over half of all rapes and the repeat rapists averaged almost 6 rapes each.
  • About 15-20% of all reported sexual assaults are prosecuted; when limited to just rape, about 35% are prosecuted and 20% result in convictions.
  • All public and private schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving federal funds must have a complaint procedure for, investigate and respond promptly and effectively to sexual violence.
  • Even if the misconduct did not occur in the context of an education program or activity, a school must consider the effects of the off-campus misconduct when evaluating whether there is a hostile environment on campus or in an off-campus education program or activity.
  • College students found responsible for sexual assault were expelled in 30% of cases and suspended in less than 50%.
  • More than 80% of college student victims of rape and sexual assault knew the perpetrator (same rate as for non-students) and about 25% were victimized by a former or current intimate partner, i.e., spouse, boyfriend.
  • Women in sororities are 2-4 times as likely to be victims of non-consensual sexual experiences than non-sorority women.
  • Women who were victims of rape have poorer mental health, including depression, anxiety, suicide thoughts and attempts and worse physical health, including chronic medical conditions and a higher risk of contracting STDs.
  • About 15% of college women who were victims of rape or sexual assault received assistance from a victim services agency.
  • Men in fraternities were victims of non-consensual sexual experiences 3.5 times as often as non-fraternity men.
  • Men in fraternities commit up to three times as many sexually aggressive acts as non-fraternity men.
  • Athletes are about 10-15 percent of an institution’s student population but comprise 25 percent of alleged perpetrators of sexual assaults.
  • Alcohol was involved in the majority of college student sexual assault cases.
  • There are a number of approaches for addressing sexual assaults on campus, including stricter monitoring and reporting requirements, trainings, more involvement by law enforcement and bystanders intervention.
  • Few programs, to date, have been shown to prevent sexual violence perpetration.
  • A rigorously designed and executed sexual assault resistance program was successful in decreasing the occurrence of rape, attempted rape, and other forms of victimization among first-year university women.

 

Get Involved

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), carries out programs to prevent sexual violence and help victims. https://www.rainn.org/

National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence funded by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.nsvrc.org/

 

Don’t Just Take our Word for it

Total sexual assaults based on survey by U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization, 2013, September 2014, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv13.pdf; (Known and Arrested/Cleared) FBI, Crime in the United States 2013, Rape, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/violent-crime/rape and FBI, Crime in the United States, 2013, Percent of Offenses Cleared by Arrest or Exceptional Means, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-25/table_25_percent_of-offenses_cleared_by_arrest_by_population_group_2013.xls; (Prosecuted – 20 to 35%, Convicted – .56%, and Incarcerated – 90%, last available data set from 2009) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2009 – Statistical Tables, Brian A. Reaves, December 2013, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fdluc09.pdf

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization, 2013, September 2014, see above; Criminal Victimization, 2011, October 2012, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv11.pdf; Criminal Victimization, 2010, September 2011, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010, March 2013, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

U.S. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study, Christopher Krebs et. al., December 2007, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf

Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation, College Sexual Assault Poll: One in 5 women say they have been sexually assaulted in college, June 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/sexual-assault-poll/

U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Facts (with sources) January 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

United Educators, Sexual Assault Claims Study, 2011-2013, http://www.bgsu.edu/content/dam/BGSU/human-resources/documents/training/lawroom/Sexual_assault_claim_study.pdf

Sage Journals, Sorority Participation and Sexual Assault Risk, Minow, J.C. and Einoff, C.J, May 2009, Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19458092 and available for purchase at http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/15/7/835.long

University of Oregon, Greek System and Sexual Violence, Marina N. Rosenthal, Carly Parnitzke Smith, & Jennifer Freyd, October 2014, http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/campus/UO-campus-Greek-14Oct%2014.pdf

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Rape and Sexual Assault Among College Age Females, 1995 – 2013, December 2014, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Rape and Sexual Assault Among College Age Females, 1995 – 2013, December 2014, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

FBI, Crime in the United States 2013, Rape, see Sources for Facts: U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, 2004, https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/handbook/ucrhandbook04.pdf

FBI, Crime in the United States, Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by University and College, 2012, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/9tabledatadecpdf/table_9_offenses_known_to_law_enforcement_by_state_university_and_college_2012.xls/view

End Violence Against Women International, False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute Non-Stranger Sexual Assault, Kimberly A. Lonsway, Joanne Archambault, Alan Berkowitz, May 2007, http://www.evawintl.org/Library/DocumentLibraryHandler.ashx?id=38; National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Overview on False Reporting, 2012 http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_False-Reporting.pdf

Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists, David Lisak and Paul M. Miller, 2002, http://www.wcsap.org/sites/www.wcsap.org/files/uploads/webinars/SV%20on%20Campus/Repeat%20Rape.pdf

University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women, Top Ten Series, December 2011, https://www.uky.edu/CRVAW/files/TopTen/07_Rape_Prosecution.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, Know Your Rights: Title IX Requires Your School to Address Sexual Violence*, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/know-rights-201404-title-ix.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf

Huffington Post, Fewer Than One-Third Of Campus Sexual Assault Cases Result In Expulsion, September 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/29/campus-sexual-assault_n_5888742.html

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Rape and Sexual Assault Among College Age Females, 1995 – 2013, December 2014, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf;  U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010, March 2013, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

Sage Journals, Sorority Participation and Sexual Assault Risk, Minow, J.C. and Einoff, C.J, May 2009, Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19458092 and available for purchase at http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/15/7/835.long; University of Oregon, Greek System and Sexual Violence, Marina N. Rosenthal, Carly Parnitzke Smith, & Jennifer Freyd, October 2014, http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/campus/UO-campus-Greek-14Oct%2014.pdf

Criminal Justice and Behavior, A 10-Year Update of “Review and Critique of Empirical Studies of Rape Avoidance”, Sarah Ullman, February 2008, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/4925HomeComputer/Rape%20myths/10-Year%20Update.pdf

Journal of Interpersonal Violence, A Prospective Analysis of Sexual Assault Perpetration: Risk Factors Related to Perpetrator Characteristics, Catherine Loh, Christine A. Gidycz, Tracy R. Lobo and Rohini Luthra, October 2005, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/4925HomeComputer/Rape%20myths/Prospective%20Analysis.pdf

United Educators, Sexual Assault Claims Study, 2011-2013, see Sources for Facts; United Educators, Student Sexual Assault: Weathering the Perfect Storm, 2006-2010, http://contentz.mkt5031.com/lp/37886/394531/Student%20Sexual%20Assault_Weathering%20the%20Perfect%20Storm.pdf

For example, see The New York Times, Doing Enough to Prevent Rape on Campus?, August 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/12/doing-enough-to-prevent-rape-on-campus; The New Inquiry, The Failure of Bystander Intervention, Lauren Elk and Shaadi Devereaux, December 2014, http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/failure-of-bystander-intervention/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sexual Violence: Prevention Strategies, February 2015, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/prevention.html

The New England Journal of Medicine, Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women, Charlene Senn et. al., June 2015, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1411131#t=article