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New survey confirms 1 in 5 sexual assault statistic

The WaPo has the story, here:

Twenty percent of young women who attended college during the past four years say they were sexually assaulted, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. But the circle of victims on the nation’s campuses is probably even larger.

Many others endured attempted attacks, the poll found, or suspect that someone violated them while they were unable to consent. Verbal consent is very important when it comes to partaking in sexual activity. If you haven’t been given it, you should wait until you have. As well as making sure that all parties have agreed to these activities, ensuring that they’re over the age of consent is also particularly important. For example, in the state of Ohio, the legal age of consent is 16, ( and if you don’t abide by this law, you could find yourself in serious trouble with the authorities. In this situation, however, many of the victims hadn’t consented. Some say they were coerced into sex through verbal threats or promises.

In all, the poll found, 25 percent of young women and 7 percent of young men say they suffered unwanted sexual incidents in college.

The Post-Kaiser poll, one of the most comprehensive to date on an issue roiling the nation’s colleges, provides evidence that sexual assault is often connected to factors woven deeply into campus culture. Most notably, two-thirds of victims say they had been drinking alcohol just before the incidents.

Other potential risk factors, the poll found, are casual romantic encounters known as “hookups” and the presence on campus of fraternities and sororities.


  1. anonymous 06/15/2015

    A rather expansive definition of “sexual assault.” One by which even this professor could claim to have been a victim (of at least one student, no less!)

    • tweetie 06/15/2015

      From the article:
      “The poll defined sexual assault to include five types of unwanted contact: forced touching of a sexual nature, oral sex, vaginal sexual intercourse, anal sex and sexual penetration with a finger or object.”

      What do you mean when you say this is an “expansive definition”? Do you find the definition inaccurate?

  2. anonymous 06/15/2015

    “forced touching of a sexual nature” is somewhat vague. Was that female student who groped her instructor guilty of that?

    So too is “unwanted” rather vague, very vague, as has been seen in numerous notorious cases nationwide.

    Would these definitions pass muster in a court of law?

    • Duckduckgo 06/15/2015

      I take “forced touching” to not include unwanted groping, but rather being forced to touch someone else in a sexual way.

        • Duckduckgo 06/15/2015

          I was confused by the forced part and thought it meant the victim is being forced to touch the perpetrator. I (have now) read the whole poll and saw the definitions and see that I was wrong.

          I do wonder why they would call all that forced rather than unwanted. If someone gropes me unexpectedly I don’t think of it as forced but unwanted. But I shouldn’t have just guessed in my first response.

          • tweetie 06/15/2015

            If we move out of the realm of unwanted sexual contact and into the realm of forceful contact with a sexual orientation then it’s reasonable why they included both terms. Unwanted groping, as you put it, could be just that, when a “no” is respected and thus not a violation. But if a “no” is not respected, then this unwanted sexual groping becomes a violation/assault. Just my 2 cents/sense

    • tweetie 06/15/2015

      So, has “expansive” now become “vague”? What is vague about “forced touching” or “unwanted”? Did you read the poll questions? After Question #49, it explains definitions for what is being asked.

      “Was that female student who groped her instructor guilty of that?” What female student, where and when? If it was forced, unwanted contact, then yes, it seems likely to fall under the category of sexual assault according to poll definitions. Could anyone seriously argue the meaning of “forced” or “unwanted” … as in NO? I know my teens did a fine job of attempting this when they really did not want to tow the line being set.

      This, to me, is where the conversation regarding sexual assault quickly begins to get sidetracked, veering down the path of legal concerns and the attempted intimidation of sexual victims rather than treatment and prevention. This is the path where hairs are split and semantics become an exercise in lunacy … the path where a sexual assault victim gives up and goes his/her own way alone because people want to debate the meaning of “yes” and “no”. This is the path where nothing really changes.

    • UO Grad Student 06/15/2015

      Oregon law defines sexual assault as “any unwanted sexual contact.”

      where “Sexual contact means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person or causing such person to touch the sexual or other intimate parts of the actor for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party.”

      So yes, unwanted would likely pass muster in a court of law.

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