At Brown University, a campus-wide survey shows one in four female undergraduates said they had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact. Further, the survey found ten percent of female undergraduate students had experienced attempted rape. For female graduate students, that number was eight percent.
In a statement Brown's President Christina Paxson said, “[t]he results of the survey establish a clear baseline against which we can assess ourselves going forward."
Brown's survey was part of a nationwide, independent survey of campus climate on sexual assault. The school was one of 27 to take part in the survey, which was conducted by the Association of American Universities.
The survey was conducted last year. The results comes out as the school adopts a new policy on sexual assault. Now, allegations of sexual assault at Brown will be handled by professional investigators. Usually former law enforcement officials, these investigators complete an independent review of the allegations before an incident is heard by a board.
The new policy was adopted following the complaints about the handling of allegations of sexual assault in the 2014 academic year. A female student alleged she was given a date rate drug and assaulted at a Brown fraternity party.
The survey also found that 70 percent of Brown student respondents reported that they were confident that victims reporting a sexual assault or misconduct would be supported by their fellow students. That number was lower for students identifying as transgender, or queer.
However, overall only 40 percent of student respondents had the same confidence in support from Brown University officials.
“I want to assure members of this community that every sexual assault at Brown is treated as it should be: an egregious violation of the values of our community,” said President Christina Paxson.
Brown University says it plans to conduct the survey every four years, as it continues efforts to stem sexual assault.
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