Data recently released by The University of Cincinnati revealed a concerning trend. An analysis of university crime data showed that as many as 59% of sexual assaults on campus are not reported. Experts warn that there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of students reporting instances of sexual assault on the University of Cincinnati campus.
This problem is not isolated to a single college. Studies suggest that fewer survivors are speaking out about sexual assault incidents at colleges nationwide. Here's what you need to know about how this issue is impacting campuses across the country.
Survivors Are Not Reporting Assaults at UC
Although a lack of sexual assault reports might seem like welcome news, the University of Cincinnati is grappling with the fact that sexual assault may still be very present on its campus.
According to a campus-wide survey from 2020, roughly 13% of the 2,545 student participants claimed to have experienced “non-consensual sexual contact” while attending the University of Cincinnati. If all of those students reported these incidents, it would result in at least 330 sexual assault reports.
However, the vast majority of those students did not report sexual assault. University crime statistics show that just 135 students reported incidents of sexual assault between 2016 and 2020.
A Nationwide Problem
The University of Cincinnati's numbers mirrors the lack of sexual assault reporting at universities across the country. The Association of American Universities surveyed over college 180,000 students in 2019. Their survey revealed that there is a 13% rate of non-consensual sexual contact at universities.
Despite the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, few victims report it. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, only 20% of female student victims report sexual violence to law enforcement.
What It Means for Students
Title IX mandates that universities must investigate instances of sexual misconduct that occur on their campus. Recent Title IX changes impact how schools must respond to sexual assault allegations.
To remain compliant with Title IX, schools must investigate sexual misconduct through a live hearing. A party must participate in the live hearing to have their evidence used in the case determination. Advocates believe that the live hearing may cause fewer victims to report sexual assault to their university.
The changes also impact students accused of sexual misconduct that fall outside of Title IX's scope and jurisdiction. Many schools created separate policies that allow them to respond to sexual misconduct allegations in their own way. Defendants may have to deal with multiple investigations and punishments.
The lack of reporting may increase pressure on universities to make an example of students accused of sexual assault. Students may face biased determinations and severe punishments. With such high stakes, it's essential that students accused of sexual misconduct use an experienced attorney.
Fewer sexual assault reports may raise the stakes for university sexual misconduct investigations. If you or someone you know is accused of sexual misconduct, an attorney can help. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent many years defending students and achieving favorable outcomes. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to speak with one of the most experienced teams in the country in Title IX and college sexual misconduct cases.