More than one-fourth of undergraduate women at the University of Kansas said they have been sexually assaulted since entering college, a survey conducted by the Association of American Universities found.
The results are a piece of a larger survey, in which 33 universities participated, conducted by the AAU. The survey, which was released Tuesday, focuses on campus sexual assault and misconduct at AAU-affiliated universities.
According to the survey, 26% of undergraduate women at the University said they were sexually assaulted. Nearly 15% of them said they were raped.
Overall, the data showed that while more students were aware of where to report acts of sexual violence, students often did not use campus resources.
But of the undergraduate women who said they were raped, 75% of them said they didn’t report to the University. About half who didn’t report said they felt “embarrassed, ashamed or that it would be too emotionally difficult” to report their rape.
“The survey results demonstrate that KU is making progress in some areas but still has a long way to go in other areas,” said Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs, in a statement from the University.
More students said they were aware of where to report acts of sexual violence than in 2012. About 20% of students said they knew where to file a sexual harassment complaint and who to contact in 2012. In 2018, it was reported about 62% knew where to file a sexual harassment complaint and who to contact.
About 4% of undergraduate men said they were sexually assaulted. Nearly 22% of transgender, genderqueer and gender non-conforming students said they have been sexually assaulted since they came to the University.
And about 17% of all KU students — including students at the KU Medical Center and law school — said they experienced harassing behavior that interfered with their ability to engage, or it created a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment at the University. Roughly 25% of undergraduate women said they experienced stalking, according to the survey.
“[T]hese results provide cause for both hope and continued concern, and they will guide our continued efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault and violence,” Durham said.
From May 2012 through Dec. 31, 2018, the University’s Office of Student Affairs imposed sanctions against 65 students for violating the University’s sexual harassment policy, which includes acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment.
For each additional year of school, more undergraduate women have said they have been sexually assaulted — about 33% of fourth-year undergraduate women said they have been sexually assaulted, while about 17% of first-year undergraduate women said they have been sexually assaulted.
Other universities surveyed had similar results — about 26% of undergraduate women at other AAU affiliated universities said they were sexually assaulted since starting college.
“The disturbing news from this year’s survey is that sexual assault and misconduct remain far too prevalent among students at all levels of study,” AAU President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement. “The good news ... is that students are more knowledgeable than they were four years ago about what constitutes sexual assault and misconduct, how to report it, and what resources are available to victims.”
If you experience sexual assault while at the University, there are different resources available to you, should you choose to report. Resources can be found here.