On Monday, September 21, 2015, the Association of American Universities (AAU) released its report on the results of its Campus Climate Survey On Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. The survey, which drew responses from 150,000 students at 27 schools, found that approximately 23 percent of female undergraduates from universities throughout the country are victims of sexual assault and misconduct. Roughly five percent of undergraduate men said they experienced some form of sexual assault and misconduct. The report is one of the largest studies ever of sexual violence on college campuses, and largely echoes findings from earlier studies.

According to the AAU, the survey was designed to assess the incidence, prevalence and characteristics of incidents of sexual assault and misconduct. It also assessed the overall climate of the campus with respect to perceptions of risk, knowledge of resources available to victims and perceived reactions to an incident of sexual assault or misconduct. The survey report provides ranges of survey results to show variations in data without identifying individual campuses. Participants in the study included elite private universities and public flagship colleges throughout the country including: Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard among others.

The data collected in this survey is intended to help guide member universities in their efforts to develop and implement policies and practices to effectively address and prevent sexual assault and sexual misconduct on campus, and to ensure that reports of sexual assault are handled appropriately and to fulfill their commitments to resolve issues by means of fair, prompt, and impartial review processes.

Client Tip: Institutions can use the AAU survey data to in the review and development of their programs, policies and procedures directed to preventing and addressing issues of sexual misconduct. Information about the results of the survey can be found here.