Sexual Violence Data Raises Red Flags
In 2014, 91 percent of college campuses reported zero incidents of rape in 2014, according to an American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. Lisa M. Maatz, vice president of government relations at AAUW, says that this data defies reality and common sense. “The abundance of zeros in the 2014 reports raises real concerns about how colleges are handling sexual assault incidents on campus,” she says.
Under the Clery Act, American colleges and universities must disclose reported crimes on their campuses, and the annual safety reports are required to include information about schools’ training and prevention efforts to improve campus safety. Because of new reporting requirements in the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), campuses must now also provide data on dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Yet, in each of these categories, on 9-11 percent of campuses disclosed at least one reported incident in 2014.
Previous studies and reports have shown that one in five women is sexually assaulted during college, and one in five college women experiences physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
According to Maatz, this absence of reporting in 2014 means that students do not feel comfortable with formally reporting such incidents at these schools, and thus are not getting necessary support.