Reported Sexual Assaults On College Campuses Continue to Increase

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers a detailed look at crime and safety at the nation’s schools and on college and university campuses. Data is presented on a wide range of indicators including sexual assault on college and university campuses. Among the various types of on-campus crimes reported in 2018, there were 12,300 forcible sex offenses, which constituted 43 percent of all criminal incidents.

The number of reported forcible sex offenses on campus increased from 2,500 in 2009 to 12,300 in 2018 (a 383 percent increase). Although changes in the reporting guidelines for forcible sex offenses in 2014 likely contributed to the largest single-year percentage increase in that year (36 percent, from 5,000 to 6,800), the number of reported forcible sex offenses on campus continued to increase steadily between 2014 and 2018, from 6,800 to 12,300 (an 82 percent increase, or an average increase of about 16 percent per year).

Of course, the actual number of sexual assaults is undoubtedly much higher as many such incidents go unreported. A 2014 U.S. Department of Justice report found that 80 percent of campus sexual assaults are not reported. More recent surveys suggest that the percentage might even be higher.

The number of reported rapes and sexual assaults has been on the rise. It is unclear whether this increase is due to increased numbers of sexual assaults, an increased willingness to report such incidents, or both.

The full study, Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2020, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment

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