The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

December 22, 2012

Up to 70% don’t report sex assaults

LEWISBURG — The discrepancy between on-campus crimes Bucknell University reported to the federal government and those revealed by students as part of a national survey is not uncommon, according to a Pennsylvania rape-prevention advocate.

As required by the Clery Act for schools to receive federal financial aid, Bucknell reported to the government 14 incidents of forcible sexual offenses over a four-year period, while the campus’ Sexual Experiences Survey indicated that more than 30 percent of women said they were the victim of attempted or completed rape.

Between 60 and 70 percent of victims of sexual assault do not report the incidents, said Kristen Houser, of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

“When I started in this field, it was something like 80 percent” of sexual assaults weren’t reported, she said. “Now, it’s gotten a little better.”

However, agencies such as the American Association of University Women estimate that as few as 5 percent of campus sexual assaults are reported, leading to low official numbers of on-campus sexual assaults, while surveys indicate that an average of one in four women are the victim of attempted or completed rape.

Victims often struggle with denial and self-blame, said Tracy Shaynak, director of the Women’s Resource Center at Bucknell.

For more on this story, see Sunday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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