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Sexual Assault On College Campuses Is More Common Than We Might Think

In spite of efforts from the Obama administration and individuals like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to address the epidemic of sexual assault on American college campuses, new evidence suggests the issue is worse than we might've been aware of.

1 in 5: Studies have shown that's how many women are a victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college. — Vice President Biden (@VP) September 17, 2015
Join the movement to end campus sexual assault. Add your name, tell Congress to #passCASAct: http://t.co/7SSJ3myPZk pic.twitter.com/NGmlldV6op — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 26, 2015

According to a new study, one in four women at many of America's most prominent universities say they were sexually assaulted by force or while incapacitated at some point during college, The New York Times reports.

The study, released Monday and conducted by the Association of American Universities, is one of the most extensive of its kind, surveying 150,000 females at 27 universities across the United States.

It included every single Ivy League university except Princeton.

Out of all the senior female college students surveyed, 27.2 percent said they'd experienced some form of unsolicited sexual contact while in college.

What's more, the survey also found around three-fourths of assaulted individuals did not report what happened to authorities, even if the assault involved penetration.

This suggests the culture of victim-blaming is alive and well, prompting victims of sexual assault to avoid reporting due to feelings of shame or fear of being ostracized.

The study stated,

A significant percentage of students say they did not report because they were '… embarrassed, ashamed or that it would be too emotionally difficult' or '... did not think anything would be done about it.'

As noted above in the tweet from Vice President Biden, past studies suggested one in five women experience some form of sexual assault during college.

This new AAU study emboldens these findings and reminds us universities and colleges aren't doing enough to prevent such horrendous crimes from occurring on their campuses.

Citations: 1 in 4 Women Experience Sex Assault on Campus (The New York Times)