New Study Indicates Alarming Number of Sexual Assault Cases on American College Campuses

Posted on in Criminal Defense

sexual assault cases, Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneySexual assault on college campuses across America is a consistent, serious problem that affects millions of students each year. Campus assault incidents have received major media attention in recent years, and have garnered the attention of many American politicians.

Just last year, President Obama started a White House college assault task force, the first of its kind, in hopes of studying and addressing the problem. Now, a recent survey released in September highlights just how important it is to address the issue. According to the Association of American Universities, one in four women experience some type of sexual assault on their college campus.

Conducted by the Association of American Universities, the recently released survey data shows that despite continued efforts from university officials and advocates across the country, sexual assault on college campuses remains a serious problem. Previously conducted survey on campus sexual assault showed similar numbers, but the A.A.U.’s survey stands out based its large number of participants spanning many universities across the country. 150,000 students across the country took part, spread across 27 American universities.

The findings are alarming: 27.2 percent of female college seniors reported that they had experienced some form of sexual assault during their time attending college. While the survey included anything from touching to rape in their definition of sexual assault, almost half of the 27.2 percent of women that experienced assault reported it involved penetration, attempted penetration, or oral sex.

The survey also stands out from the numerous other campus assault surveys conducted in past years because of the high profile universities involved. Aside from Princeton, all of the other Ivy League universities in America participated. This shows that sexual assault is happening on a wide variety of campuses nationwide, no matter the tuition cost or acceptance rate. In fact, many of the Ivy League schools released their own sexual assault findings and discovered they had some of the highest rates of assault nationwide. 29.2 percent of undergraduate women reported being assaulted at Harvard, 34.3 percent at the University of Michigan, and 34.6 percent at Yale.

Many experts say these high numbers require attention, and demand that action be made to prevent these types of assault in the future. “How many surveys will it take before we act with the urgency these crimes demand,” said one New York senator, reacting to the recent survey’s findings. Across the board, this recent survey and hundreds of others also indicate another major problem. Students are all too often choosing not to report incidents of sexual assault.

Even in the most serious of assault cases, studies show that students are reluctant to report being victims. The A.A.U asked victims why they did not report the incidents. A majority of students said they believed the incident they were involved in was not serious enough to report. Others reported feeling embarrassed and ashamed, or said they did not believe they would be taken seriously.

The issue does not only affect women on campus. Male students attending one of the 27 universities surveyed by the A.A.U. also reported experiencing sexual assault on campus. 8.6 of male seniors reported some type of sexual assault, while 2.9 percent reported experiencing penetration or attempted penetration. For both men and women, many of these cases happen while the victim is incapacitated, typically by some type of drug or alcohol.

The study also surveyed transgender students, one of the first times the demographic had been surveyed on the issue. Transgender students, the study found, experience more cases of sexual assault than women or men.

Illinois officials take cases of sexual assault very seriously, and those accused of sexual assault face a bevy of consequences. In Illinois, many charges related to sexual assault are considered ‘non-probational,’ meaning anyone found guilty of some form of sexual assault likely faces serious jail time without the possibility of probation.

Sentences for criminal sexual assault, a felony in Illinois, typically run between 4 to 15 years. In addition to jail time, fines, and legal fees, those accused of sexual assault also have their reputations at risk. If convicted, perpetrators will also likely have to register as sex offenders, no matter the seriousness of their case. Professional and personal relationships will likely be destroyed, and those charged often face a lifetime of hardship.

If you are facing sexual assault charges, your future and reputation is at stake. Having the assistance of a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney is absolutely necessary. By choosing to work with Hal M. Garfinkel and associates, you are ensuring that you will be aggressively defended. Contact us today at 312-629-0669 to learn more about the service available to you today. Your future may depend on it.


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