Study Claims Colleges Cover Up Sexual Assaults

WASHINGTON
Published: December 6, 2009

A report conducted by the Center for Public Integrity revealed that it found a “culture of secrecy” surrounding sexual assault cases across U.S. university campuses.

The group surveyed 33 unidentified female students in the past year about being raped, and nearly half of those students said they were unsuccessful in pursuing criminal charges. The report noted that campus judiciary systems often leave the victims shut out from the hearing process, leaving the proceeding enveloped in secrecy.

Close to a third of the 33 victims said campus administrators discouraged them from following up on complaints. As many as 12 of those victims said they were threatened if they revealed any information about their case. Further, the study discovered that punishment in such cases is often lenient, as expulsion is a rarity.

According to USA Today, the 33 students who participated in the survey represent a small fraction of sexual assault cases at campuses nationwide. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Education’s office said there were 2,532 forcible sex offenses at post-secondary education campuses.

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Tagged with: Clery Act

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