A national survey of college students suggests changing attitudes in terms of sexual assault and misconduct on campus. Thirty-three universities and colleges took part including the University of Virginia, where there appears to be rising confidence in how officials deal with the problem.
There are just over 23,000 graduate and undergraduate students at UVA, and all of them received the survey last spring. About 5,000 took time to respond, and more than 70% said they thought the university would conduct a fair investigation and take reports of misconduct and sexual assault seriously. That’s up from less than 60% four years ago.
At the Women’s Center at UVA, director Abby Palko says there is still work to be done. “UVA should continue doing educational work on what healthy relationships look like, what healthy boundaries are, what healthy behaviors are.”
And, she adds, students should know the risks of substance abuse.
“One thing that stands out from the data is that alcohol use is often a factor, and we see that nationally.”
More than 25% of undergraduate women said they had experienced rape or attempted rape involving physical force, a threat of force or incapacitation over their years at UVA. Palko notes alcohol is often involved in such cases.
The university requires all students to complete mandatory training on sexual and gender-based violence prevention.
***Editor's Note: The University of Virginia is a financial supporter of Radio IQ.