Scope of the Sexual Misconduct Problem

  • 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner. 32% experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
  • 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner. Among college students who were sexually assaulted, 35% of attempted rapes occurred on dates, 22% of threatened rapes occurred on dates, and 12% of completed rapes occurred on dates.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • Over 13% of college women report they have been stalked. Of these, 42% were stalked by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.
  • Nearly one third of college students report having physically assaulted a dating partner in the previous 12 months (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).
  • As many as one quarter of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).
  • Approximately 90% of victims of sexual assault on college campuses know their attacker (Break the Cycle, Inc., 2005).

Difficulties faced by College Students

  • Sometimes college students feel trapped by the social networks they join on campus.
  • College students often feel isolated from their personal support network especially if the student is from another state or country.
  • A student may have a small or limited social network due to the college campus atmosphere.
  • Students may fear their parents finding out.
  • Some students cannot afford supportive services.
  • Some students are reluctant to identify their relationship experience as abusive.
  • Many students may fear their abusive partner and delay taking action.
  • Social networking sites provide easy access for perpetrators to control their partners.

Sexual misconduct can be committed by anyone

  • A current or former intimate partner.
  • A family member.
  • A person in position of power or trust.
  • A friend or acquaintance.
  • A stranger, or someone known only by sight.

The Impact of Alcohol and Drugs on Sexual Misconduct

Alcohol use is a significant factor in acquaintance rape. Studies have shown that 95% of campus sexual assaults involved the use of alcohol either by the perpetrator, the survivor, or both.

Why does alcohol/drug use increase risk of sexual assault?

  • Perpetrators may use drinking as an excuse to engage in sexually aggressive behaviors, ignore boundaries, or use alcohol and drugs as a coercive tactic to obtain sex.
  • Alcohol/drugs may result in increased misperceptions of sexual interest, decreased concern about another’s experience, or decreased ability to evaluate whether consent has been given.
  • Intoxication can make a person less able to resist an assault - especially if they are passed out or unconscious.
  • Intoxication impairs a person’s judgment and limits their ability to communicate boundaries clearly.

Victims are never at fault.

Choosing to violate another person is not about "drinking too much," "trying to have a good time," or "getting carried away," nor is it about the clothes someone was wearing, how they were acting, or what type of relationship they have with the person who abused them. Violating another person is a choice.

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