Survey: 40% of Colleges Haven’t Investigated a Sexual Assault in 5 Years

Study also found that only 16% of schools conduct climate surveys and more than 1 in 10 don’t have Title IX coordinators.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) today released the results of a national survey of 440 institutions of higher education on campus sexual assaults. The study found that 40% of U.S. colleges and universities have not conducted a sexual assault investigation in five years, 21% of campuses don’t provide training on sexual violence to all faculty and staff, and 31% don’t provide any training to students.

“If we’re going to turn the tide against sexual violence, survivors must be protected, empowered, and given the confidence that if they make the difficult choice to report a crime, they will be treated with respect and taken seriously,” McCaskill said in a press release. “This means we need institutions across the country to recognize sexual violence for what it is-a crime-and work to prevent it and effectively address it when it does occur. Unfortunately, the disturbing bottom line of this unprecedented, nationwide survey, is that many institutions continually violate the law and fail to follow best practices in how they handle sexual violence. These failures affect nearly every stage of institutions’ response to such crimes, and these results should serve as a call to action to our colleges and universities to tackle this terrible crime.”

The survey also found:

  • More than 21% of the nation’s largest private institutions conducted fewer investigations than the number of incidents they reported to the Department of Education, with some institutions reporting as many as seven times more incidents of sexual violence than they have investigated.
  • More than 10% of the institutions surveyed don’t have a Title IX coordinator despite this position being required. That percentage is actually better than what CS found in its training survey last fall. In that study, only 59% of college or K-12 respondents said their campus or district had a Title IX coordinator, while 14% said they didn’t have one and 22% said they didn’t know.
  • 33% of schools failed to provide basic training to the people adjudicating claims.
  • 43% of the nation’s largest public schools let students help adjudicate cases.
  • 22% of institutions give athletic departments oversight of cases involving athletes.
  • Only 16% of institutions of higher education conduct climate surveys even though confidential surveys are one of the best ways to get an accurate portrait of assaults on campus
  • Law enforcement officials at 30% of institutions receive no training on how to respond to reports of sexual violence.
  • 73% of institutions have no protocols on how the institution and law enforcement work together to respond to such violence

Read the full report.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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