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In response to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released its report this morning on the Campus Climate Survey Validation Study. The report details the methods used to create a climate survey tool, examines the climates of nine unnamed college campuses, compares the rates of sexual assault and reporting rates for each, and makes recommendations for how best to utilize climate surveys to assess sexual violence on college campuses. A range of sexual assault rates were found on the various campuses surveyed, and the report authors hypothesize that this correlates with the campuses’ level of responsiveness to survivors.
This study, although primarily directed at campuses, has important implications for community-based rape crisis centers working with college students or partnering with campuses. Campuses are struggling to meet the needs of student survivors, and rape crisis centers have the expertise to help them improve their on-campus response as well as the ability to offer completely confidential support and advocacy services to students. Additionally, rape crisis centers can play a critical role assisting campuses in sexual assault prevention efforts. Learn more about strategies for working with campuses in our upcoming PreventConnect Campus webinar Comprehensive Prevention on College Campuses.
To read all of the BJS’s findings on their campus climate survey, download the full report here and let us know what you think in the comments.