Important Information! Domestic Violence at Colleges and Universities (from Ullman & Associates, Attys at Law)

"...according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses knew their attacker. An astonishing 35% of those victims reported that the rape occurred while on a date.

Here are other NCADV Domestic Violence on College Campuses Statistics:

  • 25% of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career.
  • 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner.
  • 32% of college students experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
  • 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • 13% of college women report they have been stalked – nearly half of those were by a current or ex-boyfriend.

As you can see, statistics on domestic violence and rape at colleges and universities are staggering. Unfortunately, these statistics are likely much higher as many survivors do not report crimes to authorities out of fear of reprisal, fear of future acts of violence, anxiety, low self esteem and more.

How Domestic Violence at the University Level Is Different

Domestic violence – that is, violence between intimate partners – is a horrifying form of aggression. The abuser terrorizes his or her victim using physical force, coercion or threats, and takes advantage of a person he or she claims to care for. Domestic violence can, but doesn’t always, occur in acts of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, young victims of dating violence are often hesitant to come forward because of societal stigma and fear of retribution.

The university environment can further exacerbate the fear associated with domestic violence. A victim of domestic violence may feel that coming forward would threaten her or his social reputation, or would “ruin the life” of a prominent campus figure (though, of course, it was that prominent figure who broke the law).

Social media now plays an increased role, as teenagers and college students have the opportunity to covertly bully and threaten victims online.

Many students are also away from home for the first time and may feel isolated from their trusted support networks, especially family.

Beyond the social pressures, there are administrative challenges to face. Some colleges conduct their own hearings in response to student reports of domestic violence, but they may drag their feet. Many students have reported not being taken seriously or being put through arduous and disorganized hearings.

Victims are sometimes forced to continue attending class alongside their abusers or even live in the same residence hall. These missteps may stem in part from the mistaken perception that most college students prefer to “hook up” rather than engage in committed relationships, and that instances of dating violence are nothing more than isolated disputes between students. This is as offensive as it is incorrect. Most students do not frequently “hook up,” and instances of violence between intimate partners in college are a form of domestic violence...."

from Charles R. Ullman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Learn More About Legal Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence at College Here

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