The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new study Wednesday that offers some insight on college campus sexual assaults.
During the 2014 to 2015 school year, the study found that 10.3 percent of female undergraduates had been the victim of a sexual assault, which they defined as rape or sexual violence. The BJS surveyed 23,000 students from nine different universities for the comprehensive report — 15,000 female and 8,000 male.
A new nine-school pilot test that was conducted to develop a campus climate survey that collects school-level data on sexual victimization of undergraduate students.
The report describes the development of the survey instrument and procedures for data collection, non-response bias analysis, weighting, and validity assessment. It presents estimates for each school on the prevalence and incidence of sexual assault, rape, and sexual battery during the 2014–15 academic year, as well as characteristics of the victims and incidents.
It also provides estimates of the prevalence of sexual assault since entering college and during the student’s lifetime. In addition, the report examines the relationship between measures of campus climate and rates of
Currently, an American woman who attends college is more likely to be a victim of sexual assault than a woman who does not attend college. At the same time, institutions of higher education across the country do not have an incentive to acknowledge the problem publicly or address it proactively.
The current oversight of the federal laws has the perverse effect of encouraging colleges to under-report sexual assaults. The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act will create incentives for schools to take proactive steps to protect their students and rid their campuses of sexual predators.