More than 10 percent of undergraduate women at nine institutions in a new federal survey said they were sexually assaulted during the 2014–2015 academic year, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. The rates of assault ranged from 4.2 percent at one school to 20 percent at another. Some 4.1 percent of women said they were raped, ranging from 2.2 percent at one school to 7.9 percent at another. The survey was undertaken after a White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault vowed to help colleges and universities develop “tools that they can use to more effectively respond to and prevent rape and sexual assault,” the DOJ report said.
The task force encouraged all schools to conduct a “climate survey” and included a draft survey in its toolkit. DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) funded BJS to develop and test a pilot campus climate survey that could be implemented by schools or researchers. BJS contracted with RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, to collaborate on the design and implementation of survey. The report said the survey “achieved its goal of implementing a data collection methodology that yielded reasonable response rates and high data quality.”