Sexual Assault in College Campuses

117 views 6 pages ~ 1500 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Sexual assault is one of the major problems facing modern-day institutions for higher learning among them universities and colleges, following this, these violent incidents in recent years have drawn a great deal of attention from students, parents, as well as administrators, policy makers, as well as the general public. Concerning this, sexual assault or rather abuse is termed as any type of unwanted sexual behavior/activity whereby, the perpetrators either use force, threats, or take advantage of vulnerable victims when they are unable to give informed consent. Generally, sexual assault tends to cover a “wide range of  unwanted sexually motivated behaviors” which in most instances are used by the perpetrator as a way of either asserting power or rather assert control over the victims (American Psychological Association).

According to research statistics from a government report the total number of sexual assaults that occur in the US college campus has soared by approximately 50%; thus over the last decade. However, despite this, the rise in reported cases involving sexual assaults to a great extent does not necessarily indicate an overall increases in assaults themselves, rather it can be due to an increase in the number of victims/survivors willing to come forward to report these crimes. This paper therefore argues that the increased cases of reported sexual assault is as a result of increased awareness among modern day students.

Brief History of Sexual Assault in US College Campuses

In the US, during the 1760’s up to early 70’s most of the colleges and universities began to eliminate “the rigid codes of conduct” which to a great extent had governed student’s life while in higher learning institutions for generally, following this, these codes of conduct were  substituted with more general as well as permissive standards. Moreover, as the country’s mood shifted to conservatism; thus in the early 1980s, most of the US states reinstated the legal drinking age as 21 (Purdum). Following this, the country witnessed a significant rise in sexual assault cases in college campuses, concerning this, in 1980 more than 2,300 cases were reported in 300 campuses and approximately 2,400 in 1986 in 240 campuses (Purdum).In a 1895 survey report by Mary Ross discovered that one in approximately 8 women had experienced a sexual assault while one in about 12 men admitted having used what can be termed as physical coercion to either force or try to force a woman having sexual intercourse (Purdum). Today according to research statistics the number of sex-related crimes reported in modern-US have increased by 50%; thus over the course of a decade, concerning this, the number of reported cases of sexual assaults are  as high as 3,300 cases (Stampler).  


Although there have been a significant increase in the number of sexual assault cases reported in modern day college campus, these numbers to a great extent portray increased awareness among student victims. Concerning this, according to this, research conducted by Mary Ross indicated that sexual assaults by students to a great extent were the most difficult cases for universities and college to handle and as a result they were most often ignored and in some instances hushed up. In relation to this, over the years, experts estimated that approximately 90% of all rapes in US campuses went unreported primarily because the victims of these assaults particularly women were reluctant to report such incidences especially when acquaintances as well as dates were involved (Purdum).

In early 2011, a study found out that sexual abuse went unreported in about 60% of the time consequently becoming and epidemic on college campuses (Stampler). Similarly, a survey by the Association of American Universities also discovered that even in cases of some of the most serious assaults; particularly those involving penetration, more than three fourths of the student victims of sexual assaults fail to report or rather disclose these incidences to any individual, let alone law enforcement. These studies also found out that most cases went unreported because most of victims view these incidence as not serious enough to report while other fear not being taken serious (Pérez-Peña). Victims of sexual assault in campuses also choose to remain silent because in most instance they feel ashamed, belittled, or fear being blamed or denied support since most perpetrators tend to be defended, thus over the victim; especially when they are in athletic or fraternity settings (Alcohol.Org.).

However, over the few year, increase in awareness among students has prompted a large number of victims to come forward and report incidences of sexual assault in campuses as well as their perpetrators (Karasek). Generally, increased awareness has been as a result of widespread activism mostly spearheaded by victims of sexual assault. Concerning this, widespread activism on the issue of campus sexual assault rose between 2013 and 2015 when protests spearheaded by student activists made headlines. Through the student movement, the #MeToo today, a large number of survivors of sexual assault also mobilized in an effort to end the stigma primarily by narrating their stories in public thereby, enabling more victims to report such cases (Karasek). Moreover, over the years high-profile incidences have also increased awareness consequently motivating victims of sexual assaults in campuses to come forward.

Creation of awareness by the media on the issue of campus sexual assaults through a number of well-publicized crimes inclusive of rise in negligence lawsuits filed against todays colleges as well as increased awareness of sexual assaults by gangs, fraternity members, and date rape have forced most of the universities and colleges to control the problem; thus in an unprecedented way (Purdum). Concerning this, numerous colleges have responded with forums as well as seminars in safety as well as sexual harassment which has helped in removing the stigma associated with such incidences while also encouraging women to report such events. Moreover, schools such as Princeton have also hired sexual –harassment counsellors, thereby, providing women an opportunity to report cases of sexual harassment; after which they are helped in bring the perpetrators to justice (Purdum).

Generally, increase in the number of sexual assault cases reported is also as a result of government muscular approaches in dealing with the problem, which have not only created awareness among students but also provided an opportunity for students to report such incidences. Concerning this, in 2011, the Obama administration began using the Title IX law; which combats gender related discrimination in school sports, as a weapon; thus against sexual assaults in campus colleges (Gray). Following this, the department of education warned all US colleges as well as university on the need to effectively address all claims of sexual assault failure to which they would loosing federal funding. These warning combined with student activists who were willing enough to file as many Title IX complains to a great extent the academic world as Title IX law created a means for survivors of sexual assault to seek justice (Gray). Moreover,  due to the Title IX law, many universities and colleges established measures aimed at creating awareness of the issue, in relation to this, some have incorporated video tutorials concerning school policies and rape myths which students are required to watch; thus before registering for classes. Other universities have also created policies making it mandatory for all employees with the exclusion of counselors as well as medical professionals to report all cases of sexual assault they learn about to a Title IX coordinator which has led to an overall increase in the number of sexual assault cases reported in universities (Gray). This has also ensured that all cases or rather claims of sexual assault are not only reported but also investigated.

In conclusion, it is therefore clear that the increased cases of reported sexual assault is as a result of increased awareness among modern day students as opposed to increase in the number of sexual assaults in the US. This awareness created by student activists, universities, the media, as well as the US government has helped in eliminating the stigma associated with sexual assaults while also supporting the victims hence, prompting many them to report their perpetrators, while also providing them with means of reporting such incidence; hence, increasing the number of reported cases.

Works Cited “Sexual Assaults on College Campuses Involving Alcohol”, (2018). Retrieved from;

American Psychological Association. “Sexual Abuse”. American Psychological Association, (2018). Retrieved from;

Gray, Eliza.” The Sexual Assault Crisis on American Campuses.Time Magazine, (2014). Retrieved from;

Karasek, Sofie. “I’m a Campus Sexual Assault Activist. It’s Time to Reimagine How We Punish Sex Crimes”. New York Times, (2018). Retrieved from;    

Pérez-Peña, Richard. “1 in 4 Women Experience Sex Assault on Campus”. New York Times, (2015). Retrieved from;

Purdum, Todd. “The Reality of Crime on Campus. New York Times”. New York Times, (1988). Retrieved from;

Stampler, L. “Report Sees Surge in Sex Crimes on College Campuses”. Time, (2014). Retrieved from;

August 21, 2023


Number of pages


Number of words




This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro