Campus Sexual Assault Statistics

Sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses throughout the U.S. In an average year, thousands of students suffer unwelcome or nonconsensual sexual advances from fellow students and staff members. Campus sexual assault can have a lasting impact on a survivor, including significant psychological and emotional trauma. Campus sexual assault statistics can help spread awareness of this issue.

What Is Campus Sexual Assault?

Campus sexual assault can refer to many different types of sex crimes committed against a victim while on a college campus or school grounds, including dormitories, classrooms, offices, the library, cafeteria, quads and parking lots.

According to California Penal Code Section 243.4, the definition of sexual assault or battery is touching the intimate part of a victim while the victim is unlawfully restrained by the perpetrator or an accomplice, and if the action is against the will of the victim and done for sexual purposes. Examples of sexual assault include unwanted sexual touching, kissing, groping, penetration, rape and attempted rape.

How Often Does Campus Sexual Assault Occur?

Going to college should not come with the fear of being sexually assaulted while on campus. Unfortunately, negligent administration and unsafe premises lead to a relatively high risk of sex crimes on college campuses. College sexual assault can take place for many reasons, including confusion over the definition of consent, the use of alcohol on campus and negligent campus security.

The following are some of the most recent statistics on campus sexual assault in the U.S.:

  • Almost two-thirds of all college students say they have experienced sexual harassment on campus. (Source: the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.)
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. In addition, more than one-fourth (27 percent) of college women experience some form of unwanted sexual contact.
  • About 37 percent of all women who have been raped are first raped between the ages of 18 to 24.
  • Sexual violence is the most prevalent crime on college campuses. College women are about twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed on campus. (Source: the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.)
  • The statistics for reporting college sexual assault are low. Less than 10 percent of all college students who are sexually harassed tell school employees – meaning more than 90 percent of campus sexual assault cases are unreported.
  • According to the latest research, 30 percent of colleges and universities in the country still do not offer any sexual assault training to students or school law enforcement officers. Seventy percent do not have a protocol for working with the police. About 40 percent of campuses reported not investigating a single sexual assault case in the last five years.
  • About 75 percent of self-reported sexual assault perpetrators admit to being under the influence of alcohol prior to the most recent assault. Assaults involving alcohol are more likely to result in rape or attempted rape.

Campus sexual assault is a rampant issue that exists on virtually every college campus in the country. It is more common, however, at campuses where authorities are not proactive in sexual assault prevention, such as with teacher background checks, awareness campaigns and procedures for reporting sex crimes. Sexual assault is also more common on campuses with security issues, such as poorly lighted parking lots and no security staff at night.

What Can a Victim Do About Campus or College Sexual Assault?

If you suffered sexual assault, abuse or violence while on a college campus in California, contact a Los Angeles sexual abuse attorney right away to request a free and confidential consultation. An experienced attorney can answer your legal questions and evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a sexual assault lawsuit. If so, a lawyer can represent you for the best possible legal experience and case results.