College-Age Women at Higher Risk for Sexual Violence


When young people reach college age, they are entering a time in their lives when they may be attending social events and interacting with other adults more often. For some, going away to school or reaching legal adulthood may be the first time they have lived away from home or been in these types of social situations. Unfortunately, female members of this age group may be placed in danger of being sexually abused or assaulted. According to statistics, college-age women are at higher risk for sexual violence.

Sexual Violence Statistics

According to statistics gathered by the non-profit organization RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), women ages 18-24 are at an elevated risk for sexual violence.

After reviewing campus sexual assault reports and data, the organization found that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data showed:

  • 13% of all undergraduate and graduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  • 26.4% of undergraduate females and 6.8% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  • 9.7% of graduate and professional student program females and 2.5% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

RAINN also reported that 5.8% of students have experienced stalking since entering college. Sexual violence Is also reportedly more prevalent at college than other crimes, and college women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed.

Additionally, RAINN reports that approximately 1 in 5 college-aged female survivors received assistance from a victim services agency and that 23.1% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted. There is also statistical evidence that college-aged women are less likely than others to report sexual abuse or assault to law enforcement. According to RAINN reported data, only 20% of female student victims aged 18-24 report to law enforcement.

According to a recent report by the American Psychological Association (ASA), the return of students to college campuses has come with an increased risk of campus sexual assault. In addition, research shows that the beginning of the academic year until Thanksgiving break is a particularly vulnerable period for first-year students. This may be attributable to the stress of being away from home and the pressures to drink to conform and fit in with others.

Sadly, stories of on-campus sexual violence are relatively common. In recent news, two former University of Texas students were charged with sexually assaulting two young women after a fraternity party that occurred nearly two years prior. According to a recent new article, the two men are alleged to have sexually assaulted the female students multiple times in their apartment. The men allegedly planned their attack and took turns assaulting the two women. One of the victims escaped and was able to call 911. The assailants belonged to Texas Rho, an unofficial social club connected to the Austin chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which the school shut down for hazing violations in 2017.

Last year, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, protestors gathered for several days outside of the Phi Gamma Delta, or Fiji Fraternity, due to an alleged sexual assault that was alleged to have occurred there. The alleged assailant was a fraternity member, and the alleged victim was a 19-year-old woman. In Virginia, hundreds of Virginia-Tech students gathered last year to protest and draw attention to the alarming rise in on-campus sexual assault. Protests have also reportedly taken place at the University of Iowa began against Phi Gamma Delta over an alleged sexual assault committed by two fraternity members against a female student. That case is set for a jury trial in 2023. According to a recent report, around the same time as the students protested at the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, Auburn University in Alabama, and Eastern Michigan University also held demonstrations. There were also protests at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and Missouri’s Central Methodist University.

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA)

In New York, lawmakers recently passed the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) to provide sexual abuse survivors with the opportunity to pursue claims against their abusers. Before the law’s passage, many incest and sexual abuse survivors were deprived of the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable because of the short statute of limitations associated with the crimes committed against them. The law failed to account for the rate at which victims process trauma and report abuse and assault. The ASA will provide a one-year window allowing previously time-barred victims to seek recovery. Adults who were harmed during college or were college-aged at the time of the offenses will now be able to have their day in court.

Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney

Sexual violence and abuse impact a person for years or even life. However, the law limits the time you have to take action to pursue a sexual abuse injury claim. Therefore, if you or a loved one have been harmed, it’s important to contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, P.C. understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.