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Study shows high number of unreported sexual assault

By Zach Fowler
On April 3, 2018

Twenty five percent of women and 6 percent of men report being sexually assaulted, according to a 2013 campus study.

Tech’s rates are similar to the national average of 23.4 percent of women and 5.4 percent reported by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

However, there is a significant difference between the number of incidents and those actually reported to law enforcement authorities.

From 2013 to 2015 only 11 cases of sexual assault, 11 cases of rape and 27 cases of domestic violence were reported on campus, according to yearly statistics recorded in compliance with the Clery Act.

“With approximately 11,000 students these reflect 1 percent occurrence reporting rates and does not correlate with the results of the campus climate survey results,” Dr. Melinda Swafford, interim director of the Women’s Center, said.

A majority of sexual assaults go unreported, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Swafford said Tech received a $300,000 grant funded by the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice to address the gap between incidents and those reported.

“The focus of this grant is to design education and prevention programs to address sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking on TTU campus and work with the surrounding community to build a supportive environment for individuals who have experienced sexual assault and violence,” Swafford said.

Swafford said implementation of the grant should begin next year, along with a new climate study.

The Women’s Center also is sponsoring the Clothesline Project an event where victims of sexual assault share their story through art.

This event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Tech Pride Room.

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