LAWRENCE — Results from a nationwide survey on university sexual assault and misconduct – including data from the University of Kansas – are now available.
The Association of American Universities today shared a summary report from the association’s 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, which surveyed 33 participating universities to capture characteristics of campus sexual assault and misconduct.
The aggregate results from the participating universities suggest that, while students know more about resources for victims, they still aren’t using these resources often enough. The results also show that rates of sexual assault and misconduct have increased slightly since 2015 and that some groups of students continue to be victimized at disproportionately high rates.
Overall, KU’s results align closely with the AAU aggregate results. KU data, including an executive summary and infographic, are available at the university’s sexual harassment survey results page.
“The survey results demonstrate that KU is making progress in some areas but still has a long way to go in other areas,” said Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs. “For example, KU students’ knowledge of how sexual assault and misconduct is defined is well above the national average. However, KU students’ awareness of where victims can get help is slightly below the national average. In other words, these results provide cause for both hope and continued concern, and they will guide our continued efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault and violence.”
This is the seventh universitywide sexual assault climate study KU has conducted or participated in since 2012. This commitment to regularly surveying students has clarified a number of positive trends related to student awareness of available resources. In particular:
- Since 2012, the percentage of KU students who say they know how to file a sexual harassment complaint and who to contact has increased from 20.3 percent to 62.2 percent.
- Since 2015, the percentage of KU students who are aware there is a website devoted to prevention of sexual harassment and violence has increased from 31.9 percent to 50.5 percent.
- Since 2015, the percentage of KU students aware that KU has an electronic mailbox to provide assistance related to sexual harassment has increased from 17.6 percent to 32.1 percent.
KU’s participation in the AAU survey is the latest example of the university’s work to prevent and educate students about sexual assault and misconduct. This work was enhanced dramatically in 2015 when KU created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center to serve as the central coordinating office for KU’s longstanding sexual assault prevention and education programming. Since its creation, SAPEC has implemented Jayhawks Give a Flock, an evidence-based bystander intervention training provided to 4,000 freshmen annually; collaborated with the Interfraternity Council to enact bylaws requiring each chapter to participate in a minimum of two evidence-based gender-based violence prevention trainings annually; and launched the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Seminar through the Institute for Leadership Studies.
Additionally, the university’s Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access – which is responsible for administering KU’s equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies and procedures – in recent years has expanded its investigative staff; partnered with Student Senate and SAPEC to construct two Trauma Informed Interview Rooms for use when working with complainants, respondents and witnesses; and implemented a mandatory online training for faculty and staff to address sexual harassment awareness and prevention, as well as reporting policies and procedures.