While it’s well-known that campus rape and sexual assault are major issues on college campuses, in the past, it’s been difficult to determine the number of college students who have dealt with unwanted sexual contact or harrassment due to underreporting – but a new survey by the University of Texas, which is being called one of the most in-depth in the country, may finally give us an idea of the numbers.
The CLASE survey, which was taken by 28,000 students at UT’s 13 campuses, found that 15 percent of female students at the University of Texas at Austin reported being raped at some point while enrolled, the Dallas News reports. While the percentage was highest at the Austin campus, around 10 percent of students in the entire University of Texas system responded saying they had been raped. Additionally, 28 percent of students were victims of unwanted sexual touching or assault, and most victims, around 58 percent, were female.
The survey also confirmed the fact that sexual assault and rape on campus is frequently underreported: only six percent of students at UT Austin told anyone at the university following the incident, and a whopping 68 percent told no one.
University of Texas president Gregory Fenves issued a statement regarding the release of the study, saying that sexual assault would not be tolerated in the UT system.
“The first injustice committed in every assault or inappropriate behavior is the act itself, but the second injustice is often the silence of the community surrounding that victim,” he said. “We must not be silent anymore, and we must not be afraid to face this problem.”
Fenves added that the university had let victims down, and vowed to improve moving forward.
“No voice is too quiet to listen to,” he said. “No story of abuse is too minor to ignore. No truth is too uncomfortable to face. We support you.”