Please note: Entries within this blog may contain reference to instances of domestic abuse, dating abuse, sexual assault, abuse or harassment. At all times, Break the Cycle encourages readers to take whatever precautions necessary to protect themselves emotionally and psychologically.  If you would like to speak with an advocate, please contact a 24/7 peer advocate at 866-331-9474  or text “loveis” to 22522.

Back to School: Report on Campus Sexual Assault

With over 120 colleges and universities now under investigation for their handling of sexual assault cases on campus, it’s inordinately evident that the system needs to change. Fortunately, there are resources, experts and legislation available to help support survivors and advocates.

Need a debrief on what’s currently happening on college campuses? Here are the facts on campus sexual assault:

  • 51 percent of forcible or incapacitated student rape and sexual abuse victimizations occurred while pursuing leisure activities away from home.

  • Experts estimate that colleges with 10,000 female students could experience as many as 350 rapes per year.

  • Among student survivors, 20% of rape and sexual abuse cases were reported to police.

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 female students (16 percent) who experienced rape and sexual assault received assistance from a victim services agency.

  • Less than five percent of completed and attempted rapes of college women are reported to law enforcement.  

  • Campus assault is costing universities in lawsuits, loss of alumni donations and loss of funding from the Department of Education, according to Forbes.

  • A survey from Higher Ed cites that about one-third (32 percent) of college presidents or executives agree or strongly agree that sexual assault is prevalent, but only six percent agree or strongly agree that sexual assault is prevalent at their institution.

Statistics can be overwhelming, but there are numerous sources of support and information across the country. Ready to get involved? Here’s how you can help:

  • The University of Texas system is launching a multiyear study of sexual assault and dating violence on its campuses. Call and email your local universities and/or your alma mater to encourage them to do a similar study of their campuses, in conjunction with experts in the field.

  • The Campus Accountability and Safety Act will fine schools up to $150,000 if they fail to submit and publish detailed sexual violence reports; universities that do not comply with additional response regulations could be fined up to one percent of the school’s entire operating budget. Call and email your local congressperson to support and endorse this bill.

  • Learn the Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights, or pass it along to a friend who has experienced sexual assault.

  • Talk about sexual violence by starting with the definition: “Sexual violence means that someone forces or manipulates someone else into unwanted sexual activity without their consent.”

  • Share these resources on sexual violence education and prevention from the Clery Center and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

And of course, if you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced sexual abuse, you can always call, text “loveis” to 22522, or chat with one of our peer advocates.