It is estimated that 20-25% of college women will be victims of an attempted or completed rape during their college careers. In 90% of college cases, the offender is known to the victim, usually a classmate, friend, or acquaintance. According to a report funded by the Department of Justice, roughly one in five women who attend college will become the victim of a rape or an attempted rape by the time she graduates.
|Type of Victimization||Percentage of Sample||Rate per 1,000 students|
|Threat of Rape||0.3%||3.0|
|Completed Sexual Coercion||1.7%||16.6|
|Attempted Sexual Coercion||1.3%||13.5|
|Completed Sexual Contact||3.7%||31|
|Attempted Sexual Contact||5.0%||49.9|
- Of the women who had experienced events that fit the legal definition of rape, 46.5% described their victimization as rape.
- For both completed and attempted rapes, about 9 in 10 offenders were known to the victim, usually a classmate, friend or acquaintance.
- Fewer than 5% of completed and attempted rapes were reported to law enforcement officials, though the victim did tell another person about the incident in about two-thirds of cases.
As the data suggest, sexual assault and other forms of coercive sexual behavior are part of college life for a substantial number of young women. The presence of sexual violence is a source of concern for the entire community, and has a grave impact on the affected person’s psychosocial development, intellectual maturation, and identity formation.