Sexual Assault Prevention on College Campuses

Calender Posted on: February 22, 2021clock Time to read: 2 minutes

Sexual assault is a major problem in colleges and universities across the nation. In fact, every year, sexual assault cases at college campuses make headlines across the country. Recently, colleges and universities have strengthened their efforts to comply with Title IX and the Clery Act, which are federal laws demanding that campus communities are fully informed about issues of public safety and crime prevention.  

 

The Prevalence of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

According to research done by RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network), 26.4% of female undergraduate students and 6.8% percent of male undergraduate students are sexually assaulted through force, violence, or incapacitation (being unable to consent due to the influence of drugs or alcohol).             

Females in college, aged 18-24 are three times as likely to be a victim of sexual assault compared to non-college-aged women. 23.1% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, questioning, or not listed) college students are sexually assaulted while at college.  

 

Why is Sexual Assault So Common on College Campuses?   

There are a number of factors that contribute to the vast amount of sexual assault that takes place on college campuses. According to Womenshealth.gov, there are three main reasons why there is so much sexual assault on college campuses:

Alcohol and Drugs

Many college students experiment with drugs or alcohol either for the first time or at levels that they are not used to in college. There is a strong relationship between alcohol and sexual assault on campus.

Lack of Reporting

Only one in five women who are sexually assaulted in college report it to the police. This leads to perpetrators of sexual assault going unpunished and offending repeatedly, which increases the amount of sexual assault on college campuses. 

Peer Pressure

Many college students feel obligated to go to parties or to put themselves in high-risk situations in order to gain social acceptance. This increases the chances of sexual assault significantly. Oftentimes sexual coercion is used in these situations. Sexual coercion is when someone pressures or manipulates a person into having some form of sexual contact when that person doesn’t want to. 

 

Preventing Sexual Assault on College Campus

There are many strategies that colleges and universities can take to prevent sexual assault on college campuses. According to the CDC, all of the following strategies have been proven to be effective:

  • Promoting social norms that protect against sexual violence.
  • Teaching students anti-sexual violence skills such as social-emotional learning, empowerment, healthy sexuality, and safe dating.
  • Providing opportunities to empower and support college females through creating leadership opportunities for women and strengthening economic support for them.
  • Create protective environments by increasing safety and monitoring in schools, establishing and consistently applying anti-sexual assault policies, and addressing community-level risks through environmental approaches.
  • Providing support to victims through victim-centered services, and treatment for at-risk students.

Encouraging bystander intervention can also be helpful. Students on campuses need to know that it is okay for them to intervene if they see something that doesn’t look right. 

 

Making Your College Campus Safer

Whether your college or university collects statistics about sexual assault on campus, there is a very good chance that it is happening. In order to protect your students from becoming victims of rape and sexual assault, you should do everything that you can to make your campus safer.

One of the best things that you can do is to bring our college campus sexual assault prevention courses to your campus to educate both staff and students about prevention of this serious crime.

Our sexual assault prevention course helps to shift the attitudes and behaviors of students at your school and to promote a safe campus.  

If you would like to learn more about bringing our sexual assault prevention courses to your campus, feel free to get in touch with us today.

 

References

  1. “But Does it Work? Exploring the Efficacy of Sexual Assault Prevention Programming in Higher Education.” EVERFI. https://everfi.com/blog/colleges-universities/but-does-it-work-exploring-the-efficacy-of-sexual-assault-prevention-programming-in-colleges-universities/ 
  2. “Campus Sexual Violence Statistics.” Rape Abuse Incest National Network. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence#:~:text=Among%20graduate%20and%20professional%20students,force%2C%20violence%2C%20or%20incapacitation.&text=Among%20undergraduate%20students%2C%2026.4%25%20of,force%2C%20violence%2C%20or%20incapacitation.  
  3. “Sexual Assault on College Campuses.”  Womenshealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/sexual-assault-and-rape/college-sexual-assault#:~:text=Peer%20pressure.,activities%20that%20make%20them%20uncomfortable
  4. “Sexual Violence on Campus: Strategies for Prevention.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/campussvprevention.pdf