Study: 4 in 5 Female College Sexual Assault Victims Don’t Report Incidents to Police

DOJ survey also found that 80% of colllege-age rape and sexual assault victims knew their offenders.
Published: December 11, 2014

WASHINGTON – Although females ages 18 to 24 who are non-students are 1.2 times more likely than students to be raped or sexually assaulted, collge students are less likely to report their victimizations to police. Those were just some of the findings of the Department of Justice’s study released Thursday on rape and sexual assault among college-age women.

Nonstudents (65,700) accounted for more than double the average annual number of rape and sexual assault victimizations compared to students (31,300) between 1995 and 2013. However, for 2013, no differences in the rates of rape and sexual assault were found between the two groups. Additionally, the report found that the rate of rape and sexual assault for non-students was 7.6 per 1,000 and 6.1 per 1,000 for students.

Four in five (80%) female college students who were raped or sexually assaulted did not report their attacks, while about two in three (67%) of non-students didn’t report their victimizations to authorities.

About a quarter of student (26%) and nonstudent (23%) victims who didn’t report believed the incident was a personal matter, and 20% in both groups said they were afraid of reprisal. Student victims (12%) were more likely than nonstudent victims (5%) to claim the incident was not important enough to report.

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A third of rapes and sexual assaults against female college students involved completed rape, compared to 40% of victimizations against nonstudents. More than half of student (56%) and nonstudent (52%) victims experienced attempted rape or other sexual assault.

The study also found that among both groups, the victim knew the offender in about 80% of the cases. Nonstudents (34%) were more likely than students (24%) to experience rape or sexual assault by an intimate partner. Among female student victims, half of the victimizations were committed by friends or acquaintances.

Additionally, only 16% of student and 18% of nonstudent victims of rape and sexual assault received assistance from a victim services agency.

Read the full report.

Chart: U.S. DOJ

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