Officials from the University of Texas at Austin on Friday released survey results showing that one in seven undergraduate women have reported being raped.
University officials called the survey, conducted last year and including 28,000 students at 13 UT institutions across the state, “the nation’s most comprehensive study on sexual assaults ever conducted in higher education,” The Dallas Morning News reported.
In a letter announcing the survey’s results, UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said, “The results of this survey of our students are of tremendous concern to me, and I know these findings are deeply troubling to every member of our community. This survey reveals a problem in our university, as well as society, that has existed in the shadows for too long.”
In addition to the 15% of undergraduate women at UT Austin who said they were raped, 28% said they were victims of unwanted sexual touching, and 12% experienced attempted rape, Fenves said.
According to the newspaper, the prevalence of rape at UT Austin was the highest of any campus in the University of Texas system, with campuses at Dallas and San Antonio reporting 9% of undergraduate women saying they were raped. The average percentage across the UT system was 10%.
The survey also found that in most cases, victims did not speak out about the attacks. The newspaper notes that only 6% of surveyed women who were victims of sexual violence, stalking, or harassment told someone at the university, and 68% didn’t tell anyone at all. More than half of perpetrators were fellow students.
Fenves called the survey a “wake-up call”:
I have said throughout my presidency that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. Every individual who serves our university must feel valued, respected and free to learn and work in a safe environment. But what this survey makes clear is that many on our campus have not had that experience. We have let them down and we need to improve—not in a year, not in a month, but right now.
Read the entire UT Austin report here.