Sexual Assault and Rape of College Age Students Less Likely to Be Reported

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and rape of college age students are less likely to be reported to police. That is the finding of the Department of Justice, which has released a report that compares attacks among college age women to females who are not students. The research report surveyed information over a nearly 20-year period, up until 2013.

The study discovered that amidst females, ranging in ages from 18 to 24, the proportion of being attacked was considerably higher for women who were considered non-students than were students. Females not going to school suffered more often than those in college, but it was believed that could possibly be changing. In the year 2013, there appeared to be no differences in the amount of sexual assaults and rapes between the two different groups that ended up being reported to authorities, however both groups are believed to be under reporting the crime to police.

Sexual assaults and rapes are believed to definitely be reported less often to police from college students, which is around at least the 80 percent range, than women who are not attending college. That is believed to be about 67 percent. The research study did not accumulate data on if victims conveyed what happened to them to college administrators, guidance counselors or supervisors.

However, in each of the groups, about one-fourth of the victims who decided not to speak to authorities decided that what happened to them was something personal to deal with. It was also found that one in five lived in fear of facing retaliation from their rapist. Just under 13 percent of victims in college believed that their sexual assaults and rapes were not even important enough to report to the police, in comparison to around five percent of females who were non-student victims.

It is believed that such perceptions will only begin to change when society, in general, and the judicial system begins to start sending a message that sexual assault and rape are actual crimes, no matter who performed them. It has been traditionally found that prosecutors were much more likely to go after sexual crimes that have been performed by people women did not know. The trouble with that is the research study showed that nearly 85 percent of sexual assaults and rapes occur against young females, if they are students or not, by people they happen to already know.

Prosecutors also seem to go after rapes that have had weapons used during them but the research study found that weapons happened to be used only in just about the 10 percent range of sexual assaults and rapes performed against the women in either group. It did not make a different if they were in college or not.

The study focused completely on women due to the fact that the size of male victims was just too low. However, that appears to be changing and in no way means that awareness of young men becoming the victims of sexual assaults and rapes is not growing. In fact, it is growing fairly rapidly. Among college students, young men were victims in just over 15 percent of sexual assaults and rapes and sexual assaults, compared with nearly 5 percent among males who were not students and the figure only continues to grow.

In the research report, it stated that in the attacks against the college student females, 97 percent of the attacks were perpetrated by men, and against women who were not students, 91 percent were by males. Regardless, even as useful as the above statistics prove to be, really all an individual can get from the information is to read about various horrible acts inflicted on individuals and not actually helping in solving the real life problem that is occurring. There has to be much more research and intense scrutiny performed in order to find out just what is causing these individuals to feel they have the right to perform such horrible crimes and destroy lives in the process.

The report also discovered that each group of women were performing different activities when they were attacked. Just over 50 percent of college student sexual assaults and rapes happened when the victims were enjoying leisure activities while they were away from their homes. This was in comparison to the non-student victims where about half were performing activities inside their own homes when they ended up being victimized. The research study ended up with many different statistics, but it also had its limits when it came to penetrating the numerous questions that universities all over the United States are facing as rape and sexual assault continues to seize the media limelight.

The data was taken from the National Crime Victimization Survey and included in its description of sexual assault and rape, not only complete crimes that had been committed, but also attempts of either one on a victim, as well as being threatened of being raped or sexually assaulted.

The research study was entitled Rape and Sexual Assault Among College-age Females, 1995–2013. Sadly, less than one in five college student females and also women that were not students, yet also suffered from sexual assaults and rapes, received any type of help from a victim’s service agency.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

CBS News

Christian Science Monitor

The Los Angeles Times

Photo by Mark Hooper  –  Flickr License

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