One out Five College Coeds Is Sexually Assaulted

It’s all too common for college coeds to be raped or to be the victims of an attempted rape.

According to a federal study, one out of five women are sexually assaulted in college. What’s equally alarming is about 95% of these women remain silent.

The Center for Public Integrity has just released a new study based on a nine-month investigation on campus sexual assault that should worry any parents who have daughters in college.

While many women are too scared or embarrassed to report rapes or attempted rapes, plenty of victims are discouraged by their colleges from pursuing the matter. Critics of these widespread campus practices, say that schools often encourage women to take part in informal mediation proceedings, which sweeps the matters under the rug.  The victim can be sworn to secrecy.

The center also discovered that schools are under reporting sexual attacks. In 2006, 77% of four-year colleges reported not a single sexual offense on their campuses. Yeah, right.

Among those quoted in the study is David Lisak, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts- Boston, who has trained college administrators on combating sexual violence:

“Most institutions have a strong interest in keeping sexual assaults as quiet as possible.” Administrators view campus sexual assault as “a very negative piece of publicity,” tarnishing institutional reputations, and heightening fears among tuition-paying parents and students for whom colleges are aggressively competing.

Here is the link to the second part of the Center for Public Integrity’s important expose, Barriers Curb Reporting on Campus Sexual Assault.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also blogs about college for CBSMoneyWatch.

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