If you are the parent of a current or soon to be, female college student, then you need to listen up. The University experience is supposed to be about growth and development but it’s also a place where an alarming number of female students will become victims of a sexual assault on campus.
A US Justice Department report titled “The Sexual Victimization of College Students” found that over 20 percent of college women are the victim of rape or attempted rape each year in the United States. The likelihood that a female college student will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape is 1 in 20.
Many assume that sexual assaults are crimes of opportunity committed by strangers, but this is an incorrect assumption. The Justice Department report titled “Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It” found that over 80% of sexual assaults at colleges are perpetrated by someone known to the victim, not strangers.
Freshmen and sophomore women face a much higher prevalence of sexual assault then upperclassmen. In fact, an article titled “An Examination of Sexual Violence Against College Women” reports that of the college females reporting sexual assault over 80% occurred as underclassmen.
Young women living in a Sorority House are three times more likely to be a sex assault victim then their peers living off campus. Females living on-campus were at a higher risk, nearly two times that of those who live off-campus. This is according to a report published in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol”.
Sadly less than 5 percent of attempted or completed rapes are reported. This is according to the DOJ report “The Sexual Victimization of College Women”. Many victims likely feel it was their fault. Others may feel no one will believe them. Still others, fear retaliation from the assailant.
Truth is, sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes in America. If a sexual act was not consensual, meaning that the victim did not consent or have the capacity to consent, then sexual assault or rape occurred. The only way to reduce the prevalence of these horrific crimes is through awareness and education. It starts with you and me.
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