Campus sexual assault is a problem at universities across the nation, and Johns Hopkins is no exception.
After some high profile incidents and a federal investigation, the university decided that in order to combat sexual assault on campus, it needed better data. And so last year, Hopkins asked students to participate in a survey about unwanted sexual behavior on campus.
The preliminary results are out, and they are (predictably) grim. Thirty-three percent of female Hopkins undergrads report having been subject to some sort of sexual misconduct while attending the school (as did 11 percent of male undergrads). Seventeen percent of female undergrads — or 190 survey participants — reported experiencing an act of sexual violence. Those numbers skew slightly higher (though in the same general range) as similar surveys at other schools.
Also disturbing: Most of those who had been subject to unwanted sexual conduct didn’t report it through official channels — and many didn’t even know about the resources available to them on campus.
The survey, while depressing to read, is an important first step. It’s a much more honest look at the sexual climate on campus than the “zero reported rapes” stat that Hopkins was trotting out a few years ago.
“All of these findings point the way to additional actions we can and must take to prevent such experiences at Hopkins,” the report’s authors wrote. “In this regard, we view the overall problem as part of a complex system, and recognize the need for a suite of various preventative approaches. Perhaps most importantly, we want to say to our students who have experienced unwanted sexual behaviors: We are here to support you. You should feel no shame, no fear, and no blame.”
Read the entire report here.
Hope this study leads to more awareness and action that helps with preventing sexual misconduct, as well as creating an atmosphere that allows students to feel supported when it occurs.
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