Campus sexual assault is a significant problem. Women in the traditional age range for college students—from eighteen to twenty-one—are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in any other age group, and college-bound women are at greater risk than their non-college-bound peers. Between 20 and 25 percent of college women and 4 percent of college men report having been sexually assaulted during their college years. The rate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer students is estimated to be slightly higher. Studies of campus sexual assault indicate that many—perhaps most—assaults and attempted assaults are never reported or, if reported, not consistently counted as official. The fact that sexual assaults on campuses largely take place between acquaintances blurs understandings both of consent and of assault, and lessens the likelihood of reporting. Unlike “stranger rape,” acquaintance rape may not even be perceived by those involved as “rape,” a perception that may discourage or delay disclosure (which may occur days, weeks, even years after the event).
Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures
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