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Many Female College Freshmen are at High Risk of Sexual Assault and Rape

by Shirley Johanna on May 22, 2015 at 7:47 PM

Many Female College Freshmen are at High Risk of Sexual Assault and Rape
Many freshmen women have been forcibly sexually assaulted or raped, says a new study at a private university in the Northeastern US. The study comprised of 483 women who were a representative sample of the freshmen class and who volunteered to partake in the study.

The data was collected using questionnaires when freshmen women arrived on campus, at the end of their fall semester, at the end of their spring semester and at the end of the summer following their first year at college. Around 18% of women reported enduring a completed or attempted incapacitated rape (involving drugs or alcohol) since age 14, and 15% reported victims of completed or attempted forcible rape.

Over the study year, 9% of the women reported attempted or completed forcible rape and 15.4% reported attempted or completed incapacitated rape. Few women in the study reported more than one incident. At the end of the study, women reported 21.7% of forcible rape and 25.7% of incapacitated rape.

Rape involving drugs and alcohol was most common among women in the study. Women who had already suffered some form of sexual assault before entering college were more likely to report rape during their first year. The researchers conclude that risky drinking behavior should be a target for prevention. Incapacitated and forcible sexual assaults and rape have reached "epidemic levels" among college women.

According to data from Department of Justice, up to 80% of rapes and sexual assaults of female college students go unreported. There is a need for prevention programs for both men and women in high schools and colleges, and programs to address trauma-related concerns for victimized women, said the study authors.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Source: Medindia

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