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Survey Says There's A Slight Decrease in Sexual Assault at UO

University of Oregon

According to a recently released survey, there’s been a slight decrease in sexual assault at the University of Oregon. Overall, the data shows the UO performed somewhat better than the national average.

The UO was among 33 institutions that partnered with the Association of American Universities for their 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. Last April, 17.4% of the University of Oregon’s undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members participated in the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault. This is a 3.5% participation increase compared to the previous survey conducted in 2015.  

Compared to other participating schools, the university’s rates have decreased. For reports of assault, other institutions had a 3% increase for undergraduate women, 2.4% increase for graduate and professional women, and a 1.4% increase for undergraduate men. Chief Civil Rights Officer and Title IX Coordinator Darci Heroy said the numbers reflect the school’s enormous strides over the last several years.

However, only 31.3% of UO women who reported nonconsensual penetration contacted a program or resource after being victimized. Heroy said that there’s been a significant increase in people willing to contact services, but said there’s still work to be done.

Asked Heroy, “Why is it that folks are feeling like something isn’t a big enough deal to report, right? Where does that come from? So is there something we can do to help folks understand? You know, regardless of what you experience, if it’s effecting your educational access or your ability to interact, there’s support here for you.”

The Division of Student Life’s Office of Assessment & Research is collaborating with the UO Sexual Violence Prevention and the Prevention Sciences Program to analyze trends of marginalized and intersectional communities that experience higher rates of sexual assault and misconduct. Their research will be published later this academic year.

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.