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Sexual Violence on College Campuses
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women who attend college will experience a sexual assault before they graduate. First year female students are especially vulnerable during their first few weeks at college. This is true for every college in the United States. No university is immune to this issue.
Each academic year, about 3 percent of female undergraduate students will experience an attempted or completed act of sexual assault. This means that colleges with 1000 undergraduate women can expect to have around 30 sexual assaults each year. Despite this high number of assaults, colleges and universities consistently report having far fewer sexual assaults. This is because more than 95% of sexual assaults that occur on campus go unreported.
Colleges and universities are required by state and federal statutes to investigate all reports of sexual assault committed by their students and provide proper sanctions to perpetrators. Colleges are also required to make available statistics of certain on-campus crimes, including sexual assault, each October. While many universities are attempting to address sexual violence on campus, most do not make it a priority and services for survivors and prevention efforts are severely understaffed and underfunded.
In 2010, NJCASA launched its College Consortium initiative to assist colleges and universities with address sexual violence on their campuses. Representatives from colleges and universities across the state have come together to identify best practices, discuss emerging issues, and address both institutional and state-wide barriers to providing services to survivors and holding perpetrators accountable.