Sadly, sexual assault remains a rampant and endemic problem; there is no area in which women and men work, learn, or live that isn’t touched by this issue. At college campuses around the world, students must spend their attention not only on higher education but also self-preservation. We surveyed 1000 current college students and recent graduates to understand the landscape of sexual assaults on college campuses. Here’s what we learned.
First, sexual assaults on campuses are considered common to very common, according to the majority (87%) of those surveyed. More than half of the respondents (58%) claim to know someone who has been assaulted. When more than half of the student body has been victimized by this issue, it’s no longer a few instances but a pandemic problem.
While college location, price of tuition, and size of school have no bearing on likeliness of sexual assaults, students involved in a fraternity or sorority are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted. A whopping 72% of responders who currently participate or have participated in Greek Life know someone who has been assaulted, and 29% of respondents involved in Greek Life were sexually assaulted on campus. These kind of high numbers begs the question: who is in charge and what are they doing about it?
Universities struggle with how to address sexual assault allegations in a way that provides justice, fair judgment, and supportive resources. While many respondents feel safe from sexual assault on campus (90% male and 70% female), 86% of respondents believe the topic needs more attention on campus.
When students assume an “It won’t happen to me” mentality, the perception of safety is skewed. 14% of the students surveyed reported being sexual assaulted in college and of those, three out of four assault victims were women. Sadly, only 44% of sexually assaulted victims reported the assault, perhaps because only 35% of women trust their university’s sexual assault procedure.
Additionally, only 6% of respondents felt that their university addresses the issue very well and 39% of respondents feel that their university effectively support students affected by sexual assault. Considering the long term emotional impact on victims, universities that continue to seek the best approach to handling and stomping out sexual assault are better servicing their current and future students.
While it is grim that sexual assault continues to be a damaging plague on college campuses, there is hope. For every woman and man who speaks out and demands justice—from peers, teachers, universities, and society—and when reporting sexual assault become less taboo, and every time perpetrators are effectively punished, then sexual assault can be finally make headway towards eradication.
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If you or someone you know could benefit from the community-based treatment programs available at Yellowbrick, please contact Yellowbrick today at 866.364.2300.