Stanford students face prevalent on-campus sexual violence: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-16 17:34:27|Editor: ZX
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Nearly one in four undergraduate female students who attended Stanford University for four years or more have experienced some form of non-consensual sexual contact or misconduct, a survey on university on-campus sexual violence showed Tuesday.

The survey, organized by the Association of American Universities (AAU), which released the findings on Tuesday, indicated 38.5 percent of undergraduate women in their fourth year or higher at Stanford had suffered sexual harassment, and 31.5 non-cisgendered students had similar experiences during their time at the university.

About 14.2 percent of respondents said they have experienced at least one incident of non-consensual sexual contact since entering Stanford, said the survey.

In general, 23.8 percent of undergraduate women and 21.7 percent of undergraduate and graduate TGQN students (transgender, genderqueer, questioning or not listed) reported non-consensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent, the survey showed.

It said 9.1 percent of Stanford graduate women, 6 percent of undergraduate men and 2.4 percent of graduate men were sexually harassed or approached without their consent.

The survey highlighted Stanford undergraduate women and non-cisgender individuals as most vulnerable in incidents of non-consensual sexual contact or misconduct.

The study found that 50 percent of all non-consensual sexual contact occurred in Stanford residence halls or dorms, and nearly 50 percent of women and 40 percent of men who experienced non-consensual sexual contact experienced adverse academic consequences as a result of such incidents.

What's worse, many Stanford students had little confidence in university resources to address sexual harassment or misconduct that they had encountered.

Less than half or 44 percent of Stanford students and 29 percent of undergraduate female students believed they could obtain assistance from campus officials when a fair investigation is called for.

In response to the survey findings, Stanford Provost Persis Drell expressed concern about the persisting on-campus sexual harassment or violence at the university.

She said 62 percent of all students at Stanford had participated in the largest college-based 2019 campus climate survey administered for the AAU by research firm Westat on sexual assault and misconduct.

"Incidents of sexual violence and harassment have considerable and long-lasting effects on individuals who have experienced them. One incident is too many," she said in a message to all Stanford staff and students.

The study that was carried out for the AAU surveyed a total of 181,752 students from 33 colleges and universities, including 32 AAU member schools.

Drell promised that Stanford will conduct a further analysis of the survey data, including an external review by national experts, in an effort to improve the on-campus environment and cut the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence at the school.