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.