College Sexual Assault Policies Get Mediocre Grade From Students In Survey

Few college students say their school is doing a good job addressing campus sexual assault and harassment, according to a nationwide survey by the volunteer group Students Active For Ending Rape.

When asked to grade their school's sexual violence policies, 9.8 percent of students gave their college an A, 40 percent gave their school a B, and 34 percent rated it with a C. The survey showed half of students gave their school a C or lower. The survey interviewed 528 undergraduate students from 46 states and the District of Columbia.

The survey found that 26 percent of students didn't know if their school has a sexual assault policy. Fewer than half -- 42 percent -- said they were informed about their school's policy during orientation.

The survey "illustrates that while some schools are ahead of the curve and are effectively addressing campus sexual violence, many colleges and universities continue to lag behind, failing to adequately address the issue and often ignoring students' needs," Dr. Emily Greytak, the student group's primary researcher on the study, said in a press release.

There were 34 media reports of sexual assault on a college campus in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, according to a survey of news stories by The Huffington Post. That number includes only the assaults reported to police, publicly released and picked up by local news outlets. Fewer than 5 percent of rape victims report their attack to law enforcement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which estimated that one in four women will experience sexual assault during their time in college.

President Barack Obama recently signed into law the Campus SaVE Act to address college sexual assaults. The law requires colleges to have prevention policies, and mandates prompt responses to sexual assault reports and accurate statistics.

The way colleges handle sexual assaults on campus has been a hot topic over the past academic year, with students on several campuses filing federal complaints against schools, claiming the institutions' policies fail to properly address sexual misconduct.

At the same time, students have organized an informal network to raise awareness about sparking investigations of sexual assaults on campus under Title IX, a federal non-discrimination law.

Before You Go

University Of Colorado - Boulder

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