Sexual Abuse on College Campuses #31dbc


How Often Does Rape Happen to Women?

One in Four college women report surviving rape (15 percent) or attempted rape (12 percent) since their fourteenth birthday. (1)

In a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease control of 5,000 college students at over 100 colleges, 20% of women answered “yes” to the question “In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?” Thus, one in five college women has been raped at some point in her lifetime. (2)

In a typical academic year, 3% of college women report surviving rape or attempted rape. This does not include the summer, when many more rapes occur. (3)

In the year 2000, 246,000 women survived rape and sexual assault. This computes to 28 women every hour. (4)

A survey of high school students found that one in five had experienced forced sex (rape). Half of these girls told no one about the incident. (5)

Rape is common worldwide, with relatively similar rates of incidence across countries, with 19%-28% of college women reporting rape or attempted rape in several countries. In many countries, survivors are treated far worse than in the U.S. (6)

Are Men Raped?

3% of college men report surviving rape or attempted rape as a child or adult. (3)

In a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control of 5,000 college students at over 100 colleges, 4% of men answered “yes” to the question “In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?” (2)

Who are the Perpetrators?

99% of people who rape are men, 60% are Caucasian. (7)

Between 62% (4) and 84% (1) of survivors knew their attacker.

8% of men admit committing acts that meet the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. Of these men who committed rape, 84% said that what they did was definitely not rape. (1)

More than one in five men report “becoming so sexually aroused that they could not stop themselves from having sex, even though the woman did not consent.” (8)

35% of men report at least some degree of likelihood of raping if they could be assured they wouldn’t be caught or punished. (9)

One out of every 500 college students is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. (10)

First-year students in college tend to believe more rape myths than seniors. (11)

Sexual assault offenders were substantially more likely than any other category of violent criminal to report experiencing physical or sexual abuse as children. (7)

In one study, 98% of men who raped boys reported that they were heterosexual. (12)

Who are the Survivors?

41% of college women who are raped were virgins at the time. (1)

42% of rape survivors told no one about the rape. (1)

False reports of rape are rare, according to the FBI, occurring only 8% of the time. (13)

Circumstances of Rape

57% of rapes happen on dates. (1)

75% of the men and 55% of the women involved in acquaintance rapes were drinking or taking drugs just before the attack. (1)

About 70% of sexual assault survivors reported that they took some form of self-protective action during the crime. The most common technique was to resist by struggling or chase and try to hold the attacker. Of those survivors who took protective action, over half believed it helped the situation, about 1/5 believed that it made the situation worse or simultaneously worse and better. (7)

84% of rape survivors tried unsuccessfully to reason with the man who raped her. (1)

55% of gang rapes on college campuses are committed by fraternities, 40% by sports teams, and 5% by others. (15)

Approximately 40% of sexual assaults take place in the survivor’s home. About 20% occur in the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative. 10% occur outside, away from home. About 8% take place in parking garages. (7)

More than half of all rape and sexual assault incidents occurred within one mile of the survivor’s home or in her home. (7)

What Happens After the Rape?

In a study done in the 1980s, 5% of rape survivors went to the police. (1)

Throughout the last 10 years, the National Crime Victimization Survey has reported that approximately 30% of rape survivors report the incident to the police. (4)

Of those rapes reported to the police (which is 1/3 or less to begin with), only 16% result in prison sentences. Therefore, approximately 5% of the time, a man who rapes ends up in prison, 95% of the time he does not. (4)

42% of rape survivors had sex again with the rapist. (1)

30% of rape survivors contemplate suicide after the rape. (1)

82% of rape survivors say the rape permanently changed them. (1)

The adult pregnancy rate associated with rape is estimated to be 4.7%. (17)


1.Warsaw, R. I Never Called it Rape. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994.
2.Douglas, K. A. et al. “Results From the 1995 National College Health Risk Behavior Survey.” Journal of American College Health 46 (1997): 55-66.
3.Tjaden, P., and N. Thoennes. “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey,” 2-5, Research in Brief, Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 1998.
4.Rennison, C. M. “National Crime Victimization Survey, Criminal Victimization 2001: Changes from 2000-2001 with Trends 1993-2001,” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 187007, 2002.
5.Davis, T. C, G. Q. Peck, and J. M. Storment. “Acquantaince Rape and the High School Student.” Journal of Adolescent Health 14 (1993): 220-24.
6.Koss, M. P., L. Hiese, and N. F. Russo. “The Global Health Burden of Rape.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 18 (1994): 509-37.
7.Greenfeld, L. A. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault, Washington, D. C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997.
8.Peterson, S. A., and B. Franzese. “Correlates of College Men’s Sexual Abuse of Women.” Journal of College Student Personnel 28 (1987): 223-28.
9.Malamuth, N. M. “Rape Proclivity Among Males.” Journal of Social Issues 37 (1981): 138-57.
10.National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Rape Fact Sheet. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
11.Gray, N. B., G. J. Palileo, G. D. Johnson. “Explaining Rape Victim Blame: A Test of Attribution Theory.” Sociological Spectrum 13 (1993): 337-92.
12.”Sexual Abuse of Boys,” Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2, 1998.
13.Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Justice, 1995.
14.Koss, M. “Rape on Campus: Facts and Measures.” Planning for Higher Education 20 (1992): 21-28.
15.O’Sullivan, C. “Acquaintance Gang Rape on Campus.” In A. Parrot and L. Bechhofer (eds.) Acquantaince Rape: The Hidden Crime. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1991.
16.Kilpatrick, D. G., C. N. Edmunds, and A. K. Seymour. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. National Victim Center, 1992.
17.Homes, M. M., H. S. Resnick, D. G. Kilpartrick, and C. L. Best. “Rape-related Pregnancy: Estimates and Descriptive Chracteristics From a National Sample of Women.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 175 (1996): 320-24.

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