An Alarming Percentage Of Women At UT Austin Reported Being Raped

The University's president called the findings of a recent survey "a wake-up call."
UT Austin campus. 
UT Austin campus. 

According to a recent survey from the University of Texas at Austin, 15 percent of undergraduate female students say they’ve been raped while attending the university. 

The report was published on March 23 by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at UT Austin’s School of Social Work. The survey analyzed stalking, harassment and sexual violence experienced by UT students by polling 28,000 students who attended one of the 13 University of Texas institutions during 2015.  

Across all 13 schools, 10 percent of undergraduate female students reported having been raped while attending a UT school. UT Austin had the highest percentage of women undergrads who reported having been raped, followed by UT Dallas and UT San Antonio, both reporting 9 percent.   

In the study, the researchers defined rape as “having oral sex with someone, making someone perform oral sex, or penetrating someone’s vagina or anus with penis, fingers or other objects without their consent, by use of verbal pressure, taking advantage of them when they’re incapacitated, threatening to harm or using force.”

Here are some other alarming statistics the survey found about UT Austin:

  • Twenty percent of undergrads reported having experienced “sexist gender harassment” from faculty and/or staff.

  • Forty-two percent of students said they had experienced sexual harassment from peers

  • Ten percent of students who had been in a relationship at UT Austin said they had experienced physical abuse in the relationship.

  • Fifty-one percent of the perpetrators of physical violence and 54 percent of the perpetrators of the unwanted sexual contact that these women students had experienced were identified as fellow students at UT Austin.

  • Sixty-eight percent of the victims of sexual harassment, stalking, dating/domestic abuse and violence or unwanted sexual contact had not disclosed their experiences prior to taking the survey.

Although the survey uncovered a systemic problem on UT Austin’s campus, university officials applauded the researchers, calling it “the nation’s most comprehensive study on sexual assaults ever conducted in higher education,” according to The Dallas Morning News

“We’re not going to run from this. We’re not going to hide from this. We’re going to take it head on, and we are going to address all of these issues,” UT System Chancellor William McRaven said after the survey was published, The Dallas Morning News reports. “We want to drive to zero. And I’ve had folks say, ‘You’re not going to get to zero.’ I don’t care. We’re going to drive to zero in every one of these categories.”

According to The Dallas Morning News, UT Austin President Greg Fenves called the survey “a wake-up call” in a statement to students. “This survey reveals a problem in our university, as well as society, that has existed in the shadows for too long. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.” 

Read through the full report below. 

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website or (in the U.S.) call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline .