University of Kansas Study Finds That Universities May Be Underreporting Sexual Assaults

lawjournalCory Rayburn Yung, a professor of law at the University of Kansas has discovered an interesting trend in the reporting of sexual assaults on campus. In a new study, Professor Yung examined crime reporting data at 269 universities in the United States with 10,000 or more students. Of these, crime reporting data was audited by the U.S. Department of Education at 31 universities.

Professor Yung’s data show that during the audits, reported sexual assaults rose 44 percent. But he found that once the audits were over, the number of reported sexual assaults declined to the level that existed prior to the audit being initiated. Thus, he concludes that sexual assaults on large college campuses may be underreported by 44 percent.

“I think increased auditing and more severe punishments for those shown to be undercounting are certainly the first steps,” Professor Yung said. “As it is, schools could undercount for decades. There’s almost no deterrent. It would be good to have an incentive for schools to count these crimes accurately.”

The study, “Concealing Campus Sexual Assault: An Empirical Examination,” was published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. It may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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