Her Campus Utah Talks About Sexual Assault

Collegiate women don't need the #MeToo movement to tell them that sexual violence is a problem. Sadly, nearly two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment, and according to a survey from the Association of American Universities, 27.2% of female college seniors had experienced unwanted sexual contact during their time in college. Unfortunately, Utah is no exception. In fact, in Utah alone, 1 in 3 women are projected to experience sexual violence in their lifetime, and according to the Salt Lake City Office of Diversity and Human Rights, "Rape [in Salt Lake City] is the only category of violent crime whose rate exceeds the national average.  With this in mind, it is likely that most of the women in your life have experienced some form of unwanted sexual misconduct. It is happening to your roommates. It is happening to your classmates. It is happening to your best friends. And it is even happening to our writers here at Her Campus Utah. 

In the spirit of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we decided to survey our chapter, and ask our writers about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. All responses were anonymous, and the survey was issued on a voluntary basis. Here is the data we found from our sample group:


We also asked our writers to share their own personal anecdotes, to show that incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault don't always happen in dark alleyways--a common rape myth. 

Went on a blind date with my friend and her bf. Later we went swimming and my date began touching me without consent. I froze up and couldn’t say anything. I told my friend in the bathroom and she got me out.

I used to work alone with my boss, late at night. He would ask me if I had a boyfriend or not, why I didn't have a boyfriend, etc. Maybe he didn't have a negative intention, but it was still threatening as hell and I used to push tasks into the next day to avoid working with him.

Finally, we asked what our chapter members wish people knew about sexual assault.

It’s common. SO COMMON. The lack of education and awareness is extremely harmful. THE STATISTICS ARE ALARMING!!!! 1 in 4 women!!!!! 1 in 6 men!!!!!!

Being a survivor of sexual assault doesn't mean you are broken or that you hate men or drinking or parties or whatever. It just means that you're going to be a little more skittish, a little more careful and a lot more requiring of love.

Our writers also wanted to offer advice to their fellow survivors. 

Talk to others. Reach out. Find connection. Rely on those who’ve experienced this before.

It’s not your fault. It really did happen. I believe you. There are SO MANY resources for support.

Tell someone you trust. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Get a therapist. Accept what happened to you so that you can start the healing process.

While it is disheartening to know that the University of Utah, specifically our Her Campus Utah chapter, is no exception to these alarming statistics about sexual assault, it is important to know that this sexual misconduct is happening all around us, so we can demand action and reform. If you, or someone you know, is a victim of sexual assault, a student at the University of Utah, and is in need of resources, please visit the University Counseling Center website for more information. We can fight against sexual assault on college campuses, and we can win.