INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has released the findings of the Community Attitudes and Experiences with Sexual Assault and Misconduct Survey conducted on its campus.
The survey was conducted as part of Indiana University's ongoing and comprehensive commitment to effectively address sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct on all of its campuses.
The survey asked students to share anonymous feedback about their attitudes, perceptions and direct experiences with sexual assault, as well as their opinions on IUPUI's resources and practices related to preventing and responding to instances of sexual misconduct.
More than 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students completed at least 50 percent of the survey and had their responses included in the findings.
The information gathered through the survey is used to inform IUPUI's ongoing prevention, education and response efforts and to move the campus closer to the ultimate goal of eliminating sexual violence.
"This survey allows us to better understand and address factors that may interfere with a student's success at IUPUI, particularly any student who has experienced sexual violence," said Eric A. Weldy, vice chancellor for student affairs. "We will use this data to continue shaping our programs and serving students."
Overall, IUPUI's numbers are well below national averages. For example, although 5 percent of undergraduate women participants reported experiencing attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration during their time at IUPUI, that number is far below the widely cited national figure of 20 percent.
The survey results also indicate that IUPUI is doing a good job of offering online and in-person educational programs that teach undergraduate students about sexual misconduct and bystander intervention. The majority of students feel safe on the IUPUI campus.
One of the most concerning findings, however, is how many student participants reported that they had experienced nonconsensual sexual contact -- ranging from nonconsensual sexual touching to attempted or completed sexual penetration -- before they began their studies at IUPUI. For example, 53 percent of undergraduate women participants reported nonconsensual sexual contact prior to attending IUPUI, compared to 24 percent who reported such contact once coming to IUPUI.
"The responses clearly reflect that many of our students have been confronted with sexual assault before arriving on campus," said Brian Tomlinson, assistant dean and director of student conduct and deputy Title IX coordinator at IUPUI. "We know that people who have experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse have an increased risk of having a nonconsensual encounter again. It is imperative that the information and resources we provide to college students be presented to younger students as well."