A survey from the University of Texas at Austin found that fifteen percent of all undergraduate female students said they’ve been raped, the Dallas Morning News reports.
To wit, the survey found that one in seven students said they were “raped, either through force, threat of force, incapacitation or other forms of coercion such as lies and verbal pressure.” An additional 28 percent of undergrad women said they were victims of unwanted sexual touching, and 12 percent said they experienced attempted rape. Thirteen percent of graduate or professional women on campus had experienced “crude sexual harassment perpetrated by a staff or faculty member” since they enrolled.
UT Austin reported more instances of rape than any other school in the state’s system—at campuses at Dallas and San Antonio, 9 percent of undergraduate women reported being raped, and the average percentage across all UT schools was 10 percent.
“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,” UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves wrote in a letter discussing the findings. “This survey reveals a problem in our university, as well as society, that has existed in the shadows for too long.”
The full survey polled 28,000 students at 13 University of Texas institutions during the 2015 school year, with university officials heralding it as “the nation’s most comprehensive study on sexual assaults ever conducted in higher education,” the paper reports.
The stats were first mentioned on Thursday morning after Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, dropped the figure during a debate on a bill she co-sponsored, which would penalize college staff and some students for failing to report sexual assault on campus.
Huffman’s bill was the most aggressive of four debated before the Senate Education Committee, each of which were aimed at changing the way Texas colleges handle sexual assault prevention. From the Dallas Morning News:
Under the amended bill, staff, professors and officials at colleges who fail to report an assault without “good cause” would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and fired, while student leaders like fraternity presidents who do the same would be suspended for at least a year or expelled. This penalty increases to a Class A misdemeanor — punishable by up to $4,000 in fines and a year in jail — for employees found to have willfully concealed information about an assault.
The survey also said that in most cases, victims did not report the attacks. At UT Austin, only 6 percent of students who experienced “interpersonal violence” told someone at the university afterwards, and 68 percent didn’t tell anyone at all.