Issues around reporting sexual assault on US campuses

February 5, 2015

A new report published by Corey Rayburn Yung, a law professor at the University of Kansas, has found that the number of sexual assaults reported at 31 large US college and universities jumped by an average of 44% during Department of Education audits conducted between 2001–12. However, once the audits ended, the number of reported incidents dropped back down to pre-audit levels, even at institutions that were fined for noncompliance. Yung suggests that in the absence of government monitoring, institutions began to once again play down the numbers. Yung says that his findings indicate the need for more resources to be allocated to the problem, but argues that funding should not be based on reported assaults. Moreover, he says that audits must be conducted more frequently and fines increased. Meanwhile, Inside Higher Edreports that some US institutions now require faculty members to report student accounts of sexual assault; however, some faculty members say that mandatory reporting will make students, who may not be prepared to file an official report, more reluctant to seek help. "Do we respect the students' wishes and thereby jeopardize ourselves? We shouldn't have to make that kind of choice," said one professor. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Yung Report | Inside Higher Ed