How Prevalent are Sex Crimes at Colleges?

Oct 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Sex Crimes on College Campuses: The Facts

A controversial study from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found 89 percent of college campuses reported zero incidents of sexual assault in 2015. They gathered crime reports from more than 11,000 campuses and discovered that the majority said they didn’t have a single reported rape the entire year. In 2014, 91 percent of campuses said they had zero incidents.

While colleges say they don’t have a problem with rape, dating violence, or stalking; information from other sources suggests the exact opposite—that sex crimes are a profound and growing problem on U.S. college campuses.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? And what can you learn from this discussion if you or someone you love stands accused (possibly falsely) of a crime?

Facts about Sex Crimes on College Campuses

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center gathers information on sexual violence involving children and adults. Here’s what they say about campus sexual assault.

  • During college, one in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual assault.
  • Over 90 percent of college-aged victims don’t report what happened.
  • When one university interviewed offenders, over 63 percent of them said they assaulted multiple victims.
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime in the United States.
  • 58 percent of college students said they know a victim of violent or abusive dating behaviors.

Confusion about What Constitutes Sexual Assault and How to Deal with It

  • The victim’s perspective. Many people who say they’ve experienced sexual assault don’t report it to authorities. Victims sometimes fear ruining close relationships or friendships. They worry about reprisals for reporting the attacker. They feel shame and confusion. They may not believe they can produce proof of the assault.
  • The perspective of the accused. Many students simply don’t know what constitutes assault. Misunderstandings between seemingly consenting partners can spiral out of control and lead to unfairly harsh accusations. Accused students often lament that university policies on sexual crimes are stacked against them—that there’s a “guilty until proven innocent” nature to these charges.  

Dealing with Sex Crimes Campus: What’s the Best Way Forward?

Irrespective of the debate over the campus sex crime epidemic (is it happening or not?), campuses are experimenting, sometimes feverishly, with solutions. These include:

  • Bystander intervention training to encourage students to intervene when they see a sexual assault.
  • Rewriting university investigation processes to provide more investigative training to officials, create stricter disciplinary processes, and update websites with survivor resources.
  • Requiring consent between two college students before they can engage in sex.

What to Do If You Stand Accused

Whether you did something wrong, or you believe that the accusations against you are unfair or misplaced, you deserve compassionate, strategic legal counsel. Our experienced Georgia sex crime defense attorneys are here to help you get clarity. Connect with the team at Chehimi Law at 678-459-5659 for a private case evaluation.