The U.S. government recently opened an investigation into dozens of major American colleges—from big-name, Ivy League Universities to small private schools—examining how they handled, or mishandled, reports of sexual assaults on campus. The task force is an indication of how widespread sexual violence has become at universities around the country. Even Christian schools haven’t been immune to the epidemic. The conservative Bob Jones University recently came under fire for allegations of improperly responding to reports of rape from student victims.
Here’s a look at the staggering numbers showcasing problem, and what is being to done help:
of college females are victims of sexual assault
The rise in college sexual assaults reported from 2001 to 2011. However, it’s unclear whether the rise is due to an increase in assaults or an increased willingness to report them.
of college sexual assault victims say they contemplated suicide after the incident.
Every 21 hours, there is a sexual assault committed on an American college campus.
of women who reported “sexually coercive experiences” were either freshmen or sophomores when it occurred.
American Colleges are currently under investigation by the Department of Education for how they handled reports of sexual assault.
###What’s Being Done
On-Campus Awareness: Schools across the country are now following the lead of major universities such as Cornell and Dartmouth in launching on-campus awareness campaigns and revamping sexual assault response policies, training and reporting.
Violence Against Women Act: In March of 2013, President Obama signed an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act into law. Set to go into effect this year, one prevision of the act mandates sexual violence training and requires universities to report a wider range of assault incidents.
Notalone.gov: The U.S. Education Department recently launched the site NotAlone.gov, empowering students and school administrators with prevention guidelines, counseling resources and information on how victims can file complaints and get help.
Activism: Along with raising awareness about the magnitude of the problem among lawmakers, sexual assault survivors are pressuring the prestigious Princeton Review journal to include information about campus assaults in their publication that rates American colleges.