The High Cost of Sexual Assault Claims on College and University Campuses

A new report from United Educators offers advice to colleges and universities on how to protect themselves from claims of sexual assault on their campuses. In the introduction to the report, the authors write, “student sexual assault continues to take a high toll on campus. Such incidents cause emotional distress for the parties involved and reputational damage to the institution. In addition, these tragedies can have large financial resource implications as well.”

According to the report, “the costs of sexual assault on campus are tremendous. These tragedies bring high levels of emotional distress, can divide the campus community, and often impact the institution’s reputation. In addition, the nature of sexual assault means that resolving claims is a lengthy, costly process.” The report states that colleges and universities had to settle claims in sexual assault cases that averaged nearly $350,000 with some settlements of more than $1 million.

The study offers a full range of recommendations on what steps that colleges and universities can take to lessen their liabilities in these cases. Among these recommendations are increased training for Title IX coordinators, counselors, human resource professionals, and law enforcement officials, training for all employees about their obligations in reporting incidents of sexual assault, training for students on sexual consent, and beefed up security mechanisms on campus.

The full report, The High Cost of Student-Victim Sexual Assault Claims: What Institutions Can Do,” can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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