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People walk at the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz/File Photo - RTX2MMI4

Sobering stats

15% of female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin report being raped

By WITW Staff on March 27, 2017

The University of Texas has released an expansive survey of 28,000 undergraduates, which sought to measure students’ experience with stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. At the university’s flagship campus in Austin, 15 percent of female students reported being raped, according to The Dallas Morning News.

This number was the highest of the school’s eight campuses. The Dallas and San Antonio campuses reported the second-highest percentage of rapes, at nine percent each. The rate of rape incidents at all the campuses taken together was 10 percent; that number decreased to six percent when all students — including male students and graduate students — were taken into account. More than half of the incidents were perpetrated by UT students, according to the survey.

The study defined rape as “having oral sex with someone, making someone perform oral sex, or penetrating someone’s vagina or anus with penis, fingers or other objects without their consent, by use of verbal pressure, taking advantage of them when they’re incapacitated, threatening to harm or using force.”

The survey also revealed that very few UT students who experienced sexual assault on campus reported the crime — a phenomenon that is reflected in national studies on campus rape. At the Austin campus, only six percent of survivors told someone at the university, and 68 percent never said anything at all. At UT-Permian Basin in Odessa, just one percent of survivors reported their assaults to a university employee. Eighty-two percent said nothing.

Sexual harassment and sexual violence often impacted survivors’ course of study. Eleven percent of survivors felt they needed to take time off from school. Six percent reported that they needed to drop a class, and another six had to repeat a class.

Upon launching the survey in 2015, UT officials called it “the most comprehensive sexual assault study in higher education.” According to The Dallas Morning News, the university is deeply concerned by the study’s findings.

“We’re not going to run from this,” said UT System Chancellor William McRaven. “We’re not going to hide from this. We’re going to take it head on, and we are going to address all of these issues. We want to drive to zero. And I’ve had folks say, ‘You’re not going to get to zero.’”

Read the full story at The Dallas Morning News.


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