Study at George Washington Universtiy Examines Rape on Campus

A recent study at George Washington University examines students’ attitudes concerning sexual assault on campus.

Sadly, but not too uncommonly, rape at GWU is not a rarity.

In any given year, approximately 265 female undergraduates will experience an attempted or completed sexual assault, yet half of them will not call their assault “rape” and fewer than 5% will ever report being attacked.

The majority of women assaulted will know their victim, which could explain why so few assaults are reported and why women also refuse to call their attack a rape.

For the few who do report being assaulted and seek help, is GWU equipped to provide them with the services they need? 

According to the survey, 71% of respondents said that “if an individual were ever raped, GWU has the resources to help from crisis to recovery.”

At the same time, however, 74% of students also reported that they “do not feel that the GWU community educates students about the resources available to victims of sexual assault.”

So, while students believe services are available should they need them, they feel that GWU fails to make those services well-known, which may explain why students are uninformed as to which services are actually available.

In fact, 62% of respondents “think rape kits are available on GWU’s campus through Student Health Services,” but in reality they’re not.

The study brings up an interesting point that every school should really be asking itself – Are students well informed of the sexual assaults services they provide? Are the services they provide enough?

In a world where 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted while at college, these are questions we cannot afford to overlook anywhere.

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

What I glean from what's stated, is that girls/young women have poor self-esteem, a continuing problem. Half know the males, but don't call the sexual assault, rape. Do they imagine that because they're at a party, things are looser, and the rape is sort of part of their problem? That it has to be in an alley with a stranger to call it officially rape?

Several problems in society, besides females' lack of self-respect:
most males are usually larger than most females
many males equate force with masculinity
women are targeted to be sexy/provocative by fashion/media
women dress provocatively in everyday circumstances, not
only when in bedroom or going out in cocktail dress

I am not saying that a woman should be raped because she dresses in a certain way. "No" means "no." But males get confused by the provocative dress, and others blame females for being raped because they dressed that way. ("she deserved it.") It is a complicated world, and not treating women as people with brains, but only for how good they look, puts women on a different level from men >> confusion.

Anyone who has read my comments, knows that I am a feminist. I do not condone rape in any circumstance. Bringing up these ideas, I'm only trying to find out "why" and "what" is going on here in societies b/w males and females.

Sue M.
Sue Matheson7 years ago

It is very sad that these statistics haven't changed since I was a student.

Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

Obviously, the public is even ignorant of the information. The facts about why men (or women) rape is for power and control. Here is a link about why it's still a problem on campus -

Here is another link that explains a lot. The definitions hold true regardless of who is the perp vs. vic -

I think all too often, when it's the star athletes, they give him a pass over the victim, because the victim is considered less important to the university.

According to the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, every campus is supposed to have the safety net there. Why it's not being offered, I don't know, because it's a federal law to protect the students. I know it's there, because I helped pass that bill, and it was the official Wisconsin Student Association's version that got put into the bill, thanks to an awesome lady named Julie who wrote it up.

Your universities HAVE to ensure that it's there, and you're entitled to a secure walk to your car if you need one, and if you live on campus, you can ask campus security to escort you home safely. Use the services, we all have the right to be safe in our own homes, schools, streets, everywhere.

Donna M.
Donna M7 years ago

The studies about what happens to women on campus are just the start. Where are the studies about why men rape???? Where is the outrage that this is happening over and over and over again.
Until the men get involved and stand up and say this is wrong and we are not going to accept it, it will continue to happen. We now how to help victims. We just don't know how to stop it from happening again and again. We need to hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions and have stiff penalties. No more boys will be boys attitudes. There is no excuse for sexual assault. It is never okay. Until we hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions 265 more females at just ! university will go through a very traumatic, life changing experience.

Francine P.
Francine P7 years ago

Lookslike it was 35 years ago, I am in my late fifties. Universities, and High schools and any post secondary institutions should have very proactive programs to help prevent sex crimes and promote respectful relationships and encounters between people.

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Violence against women - a subject for study? Or perhaps there should be appropriate action taken.

Past Member 7 years ago

what a crock!! this study sounds like some dumb guy put it together...and yes..i apologize to men all the world over but it is so unrealistic....ever try to press charges on a date rape the stats...and if the rapists is a star athlete...the girl is ostracized by everyone at the school, including teachers and the school administrators..athletes are gods...remember kobe??? rape means nothing to them...they are whatever they want to take by force...and no one will stop them...and the numbers of assaults...gee i really hate to be a spoil sport...but these numbers at gwu are right out of the dark why isn't gwu preventing rape??? 30 years ago schools were looking for solutions on how to get more rapes reported and if girls knew what /who to report to....this school has really shown that preventing rape or stopping it or prosecuting it, is NOT their priority...if it were...we'd have had a much better article and the numbers would not be that bad... and they would be working on prevention...HOW ABOUT MAKING THIS SCHOOL SAFER FOR WOMEN??? oh well...i guess that's one way to ensure that women don't enroll there....and no...i don't think prosecution works..not in a school setting...the victim is hung out by all, including the well meaning cops....sorry....but prosecution is NOT the answer....

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago

Noted, thanx

Michael Kirkby
.7 years ago

I think this article is tame and saturates the real statistics with mediocrity. When it comes to star athletes and athletic programs the sky is the limit and anything that touches that is chastised and discouraged in no uncertain terms.
Did the compilers ever wondered why only 5% would report such a vicious and reprehensible crime perpetrated by such cheap, empty suits? Maybe the officials should have to relive such an embarrassing; torturous experience not to mention the emotional and mental embarrassment of a trial the public always seems to demand. Maybe rape trials should be held ex-camera, no reporting, and with only a judge and the representative lawyers present. Let the facts speak for themselves.
Then again it sounds like the universities aren't prepared to admit that campus rapes occur [if it occurs, according to the article] let alone prepare for the eventuality of them. There seems to be a dearth of rape counselling and crises centers on campus and a lack of rape kits. This really needs to change.
It is a sad commentary on the lack of moral and ethical practices existent within our society. After all you pay an arm and a leg to get a better education, not to get a reputation for being raped and for having the courage and the fortitude to endure to see it through to the conviction of the rapist.
All rapists and bullies need to be convicted and punished accordingly. Then again, the rich and the famous always seem to have enough money to buy their way out don't th

Aaron Milavec

Catherine of Siena Virtual College has an eight-week international online course, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, beginning Jan. 4th. Get into at