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Sexual Assault Prevalence, Reporting and Policies: Comparing College and University Campuses and Military Service Academies

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: 2009 Pages: 56-72
Sarah Jane Brubaker
Date Published
17 pages
This article examines differences and similarities between college and university campuses and military service academies on several sexual assault issues.
Results suggest that women students in military service academies and on college and university campuses experience high rates of sexual assault. This comparative analysis of recent studies of sexual assault in these two settings provides a starting point for beginning to understand factors that influence sexual assault in both. Similarities between the two settings with respect to sexual assault include that both are situated within male-dominated cultures and hierarchies of leadership and authority that seem to encourage sexual assault of women. Victims and perpetrators tend to be peers, if not intimates or acquaintances. Each setting is isolated and self-sufficient with its own institutional infrastructure for addressing sexual assault separate from the larger community’s judicial and medical institutions. Both share similar barriers preventing victims from reporting sexual assault to the authorities, thereby limiting the response and prevention efforts. Differences between the two settings include unique deterrents to reporting, higher rates of reporting sexual assault to authorities within the military service academies than on college and university campuses, mandated reporting of incidents on most campuses, and greater coordination of effort and oversight at the academies than among campuses. Data were collected from three secondary data sources that are publicly available: 2005 Military Service Academy Sexual Assault Survey report; 2006 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey; and the 2000 Sexual Victimization of Women on College Campuses report. Tables, notes, and references