Study Shows 15% of College Students Sexually Harassed on Campus

A 2019 University of Hawaii student survey shows an increase in sexual harassment and unwanted contact reports despite efforts to address the problem. This shows that college sexual harassment is still a rampant problem plaguing university campuses.

About Sexual Harassment

Federal law prohibits sexual harassment through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This applies to employers that have 15 or more employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be physically touching. In fact, it can be any number of unwelcome sexual advances like indirect or direct threats for sexual activity, sexist jokes, displaying sexually illicit materials or unwanted touch.

College Sexual Harassment Study

The University of Hawaii performed a college sexual harassment survey of 6,300 students.  Researchers found an increase in unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment, stalking and also dating/domestic violence over the past two years.

The study found:

  • 7.2 percent reported nonconsensual sexual contact (6.3 percent in 2017)
  • 12.7 percent reported being sexually harassed (9.3 percent in 2017)
  • 10.6 percent reported being stalked (9.7 percent 2017)
  • 21.3 percent said they were victims of dating or domestic violence (19.1 percent in 2017)

Also, the scary discovery with the survey is comparing the University of Hawaii to a national survey by the Association of American Universities indicates numbers across the country are far higher.

The results can help reform policies across campuses. Many universities do not offer a standard process for addressing sexual harassment and violence. The University of Hawaii in fact failed to comply with federal requirements, and the government cited the school in 2013.

If you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney. You should do this right away since time is of the essence. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance, help you file a claim with the EEOC, and help you build a case that will put an end to what you have experienced.

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