Survey finds 16 percent of Yale students have experienced sexual assault

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Over 16 percent of all students on Yale’s campus have experienced a sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault at one time. That’s according to a report released by the Association of American Universities.

Yale University’s President Peter Salovey says he is “deeply distressed” by the numbers.

The survey was conducted in spring 2015.

150,000 students from 27 top universities took part in the survey, which found that 20 percent of all female undergraduate students were victims of sexual attacks and misconduct.

On Yale’s campus, the numbers show over 18 percent of undergrads have experienced an incident that involved force or incapacitation.

MORE: Yale reacts to survey

Comments from President of Psychology Dept.

News 8 spoke with a group of freshman students who had been made aware of the survey results on campus.

“I think it’s bad. Yale has always been very serious about consent and sexual assault,” said freshman Chris Moore. “I actually would not have expected this from Yale.”

“I think Yale has had a lot of workshops for the freshman especially to talk about sexual assault and I think Yale’s doing a lot of good things to combat sexual assault and we have a lot of peer mentors,” said fellow student Rachel Carp.

“I feel like there is so much the school has done to try to prevent it,” said Madison Sack. “There’s been a lot of assemblies and information sessions.

The survey also looked at whether students are reporting sexual assaults and using campus resources. It found that 82 percent of all students recalled being provided with relevant information on resources during orientation.

Salovey says he’s concerned that the majority of students chose not to report these incidents despite stating they believe campus officials take the information seriously.

Below is a statement from Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on the findings:

“The results of this report are disturbing and should be a wake-up call to all Americans. According to the report, over one quarter of Yale undergraduates have experienced some form of sexual assault, and nearly one in five have experienced an incident involving force.

“Schools and law enforcement must work together to end this outrage, which happens on campuses across the country. A key part of that is ensuring victims feel comfortable coming forward and reporting crimes that have been perpetrated against them. Given the prevalence of sexual crimes, this is absolutely necessary.

“It was not all that long ago, before the Violence Against Women Act, that rape and domestic violence were shuffled under the rug. In the 1970s, ordinary women first took up the reins of activism for those who suffered in violence. Just like thirty years ago, the energy and the change will come from women on college campuses standing up and saying they will tolerate this no longer. Reports such as the one published today are critical to shedding light on the problem.

“Yale students obviously recognized the importance of this survey as almost 52 percent of them provided responses. I will continue to work with college officials, students and law enforcement until survey results like we are seeing today are a thing of the past.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal released this statement:

“This survey of sexual assault on college campuses – in which over 150,000 students across the country voluntarily participated – reinforces the urgent need to address this egregious epidemic. The horrific trends confirmed in this report are what that I have heard all too often: alarmingly high rates of assault, shockingly low rates of reporting (both to campus authorities and law enforcement), and general confusion among students regarding the resources and remedies available on campus continue to be serious problems on college campuses.

“I commend the students and administrators at Yale and the other 26 AAU member schools that took part in the survey, however students and parents deserve to know this important information regardless of where their child goes to college. These climate surveys should be replicated at every institution in the country so we can produce a clear picture of campus climate regarding sexual assault. My Campus Accountability and Safety Act requires biennial campus climate surveys, standardized and anonymous, at every school in the country so that prospective students and their parents can compare the results and make informed decisions. Only by better understanding the climate of campus sexual assault facing students today will we be able to fully address this unacceptable problem.”

You can read the entire survey report here.

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