Nearly Half of Colleges Have Not Investigated Sexual Violence Reports
(July 15, 2014) — An alarming 41 percent of institutions of higher education have not investigated a single report of sexual violence in the past five years, according to a new national survey of colleges. The survey was undertaken by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a former sex crimes prosecutor.
Another disturbing finding: 22 percent of institutions leave it up to their athletic departments to address claims of sexual violence involving student athletes. As Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s president, told MSNBC: “As much as I respect coaches and athletic directors, sexual-assault investigation is probably not one of their primary skills.”
Additionally, the survey revealed that:
- More than 10 percent of institutions failed to assign a Title IX coordinator to coordinate investigations into alleged sexual violence, in clear violation of federal law.
- Twenty-one percent of institutions failed to train their faculty and staff on sexual violence. Nearly a third (31 percent) haven’t trained their students on the topic.
- Thirty percent of the institutions failed to train law enforcement officials on how to respond to sexual violence, and 73 percent of the institutions lack protocols regarding how campus actors and local law enforcement will coordinate when an incident is reported.
RAINN is working closely with Congressional leaders, who are expected to soon introduce legislation to combat this crisis.
The survey was sent to 440 institutions of higher education responsible for educating more than five million students; 319 schools completed the survey. McCaskill’s report follows a series three roundtable discussions with policymakers, campus administrators, students, law enforcement and other experts, including Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN’s vice president for public policy.
Added Berkowitz, ““We are grateful for Senator McCaskill’s leadership in addressing sexual assault on college campuses. This survey provides much-needed insight into how colleges are addressing, and failing to address, sexual assault. It will help us identify and fix systemic problems and will be very valuable as we work with Congress and colleges to reduce the number of assaults, bring more rapists to justice, and provide victims with the help they deserve.”
Congress needs to hear from you! Visit RAINN’s Action Center to learn more about how you can get involved with affecting policy in your community.