Prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses
As a result of non-reporting, sources that rely on police records or official crime reports, such as the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, may underestimate the number of rapes and sexual assaults in a given year.
of women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since starting college.
For example, based on interviews with a reasonably nationally representative sample of 2,000 women who were attending four-year colleges or universities, Kilpatrick and colleagues (2007) discovered that only 11.5% of sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement and this figure dropped even further to 6% if alcohol use was involved.
This low incidence of reporting assaults makes determining the actual degree of prevalence difficult.
For estimates specific to college campuses, the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA-II) Reference Group Data Report (2013) found that last year 8% of women (4% of men) were sexually touched without their consent, 4% of women (1% of men) experienced unwanted attempted penetration including vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and 2% of women reported that they were sexually penetrated without their consent.
In 2012, IU had the third-highest reported number of sexual assaults at 27 (Penn State had the highest number at 56).
Reported statistics are figures based on incidences of rape or assault that were reported to police.
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.
Most respondents who reported sexual assault to the AAU said they did not report the incident to police or campus authorities because they did not consider the event “serious enough" to report, even when it included forced penetration.
Stuart Taylor Jr., a Brookings Institution fellow, remarked, "This most plausible explanation is that most of those classified by the survey as “victims” of sexual assault or rape did not really think that they had been sexually assaulted." KC Johnson, a Brooklyn College history professor who tracks college sexual assault issues, noted that if the AAU survey were taken literally, the rates "suggest a violent crime rate at most campuses higher than in any city in the country." Stuart Taylor Jr.
Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Sexual assault for higher education students occurs more frequently against women, but any gender can be victimized. While the rate of violent crime against higher education students aged 18–24 in the United States declined significantly from 1995 to 2002, the rates of rape and other sexual assault largely remained the same.
Estimates of sexual assault, which vary based on definitions and methodology, range from 0.61% of female students sexually assaulted annually to 19–27% of college women and 6–8% of college men sexually assaulted during their time in college.