Connecticut’s colleges and universities have taken important steps to address and prevent sexual violence on campus. That’s according to the 2012 Campus Report Card. But there’s still work to be done to improve sexual assault training and education.
The prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses nationwide is staggering. Research shows that up to one in four women experience unwanted sexual intercourse during college, and one in twelve men admit to acts that meet the legal definition of rape.
Beth Hamilton is director of prevention and programs at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services. She says in the past decade, Connecticut’s colleges and universities have become more savvy about the dynamics of sexual violence.
"...what perpetration looks like, and then also how to respond much more supportively to survivors. We have that public policy also, that new law that’s going to offer schools some guidance."
Last year, Connecticut passed a law that makes clear to schools – public and private – what's expected in terms of sexual assault reporting procedures, disciplinary hearings, and training for students and faculty.
Hamilton says schools still need to do a better job educating students on prevention.
"What we’re seeing is some institutions, and this is nationally also, that are equipping young women with strategies to ward off a sexual assault, rather than honing in on perpetrators of sexual violence and their behaviors."
The new report offers collective grades for 21 Connecticut institutions, including UConn and the state university system, as well as the Coast Guard Academy, Trinity, Wesleyan and Yale.
Connecticut schools get an A for their policies defining sexual assault, but fail in mandatory sexual assault education for student members of Greek life.