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Justice Dept.: 20% of Campus Rapes Reported to Police

December 12, 2014

College-aged women who are not students are more likely to be victims of rape and sexual assault than those who are students, but victims of campus sexual assault are less likely to report the crime to police, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. The report examined data from the bureau's National Crime Victimization Survey collected between 1995 to 2013 about women aged 18 to 24 -- the demographic that is most at risk for sexual assault. The researchers found that the rate of rape and sexual assault among nonstudents in that age group was 1.2 times higher than that of students. Of those students who were assaulted, however, 80 percent never reported the crime to police. For nonstudents, 68 percent never reported the assaults to law enforcement.

More than a quarter of students who did not report to police said it was because they believed it was a personal matter, and one in five said they were afraid of reprisal. Twelve percent of students said they didn't think the incident was "important enough" to report, a worry shared by only five percent of nonstudents. Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing on whether law enforcement's role has been missing in the debates over sexual assaults on campus.

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Jake New

Jake New, Reporter, covers student life and athletics for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in June 2014 after writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education and covering education technology for eCampus News. For his work at the Chronicle covering legal disputes between academic publishers and critical librarians, he was awarded the David W. Miller Award for Young Journalists. His work has also appeared in the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indianapolis Monthly, Slate, PBS, Times Higher Education and the Australian. Jake studied journalism at Indiana University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Daily Student.

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