New Study Reveals That Nearly a Quarter of All College Students Are the Victims of Sexual Assault

And it's worst for freshman women.

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A survey released yesterday confirms anew that sexual assault on college campuses is a problem for a staggeringly huge number of women. 

The survey, conducted by the Association of American Universities, polled 150,000 students at 27 colleges across the country, where 23.1 percent of female undergrads and 5.4 percent of male undergrads said they were victims of nonconsensual sexual contact due to physical force, threats, or incapacitation through drugs or alcohol.

Rates of sexual assault and misconduct were the highest among undergraduate cisgender women, and also among transgender and gender non-conforming students. And the risk of nonconsensual contact due to physical force was highest among freshmen and declined from there.

Only a small fraction—28 percent—of these incidents are reported, either to the school or to police. More than half of victims say they didn't report because it wasn't "serious enough," and many students said they were too embarrassed or ashamed to speak up, or didn't think anything would be done to help them.

Just yesterday, Harvard University released a report revealing a "troubling" climate of sexual assault on their own campus—16 percent of senior undergraduate females reported experiencing assault during their years there. 

Enough already. Let's hope being stared in the face by such infuriating statistics will finally make it stop. 

Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.