Although the Justice Department reports that one in five women experience some form of sexual violence throughout their college careers, it appears as though many colleges and universities just simply aren't acting to pursue sexual assault allegations.
In a new study sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill and the Senate Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight, the results yielded that approximately 40 percent of the 236 schools surveyed had not investigated a single incident of sexual violence in the past five years.
The survey didn't specifically address how many of these universities had received reports of sexual assaults from students, but with the Justice Department stats what they are — the staggering one in five figure — it's hard to imagine that almost half of the schools in question had no one coming forward with a sexual assault allegation over the course of the last few years.
What's especially troubling is a smaller, but still important, statistic: Apparently 9 percent of the institutions questioned said they had reported more sexual assault occurrences to the Education Department than they had actually investigated in-house.
And among the largest private schools in the country, over 20 percent said they investigated fewer sexual assault claims than they had recorded as being reported to the Education Department.
So schools are getting these cases brought before them, and they're sharing these stats (as they're legally obligated to do) with the Education Department.
But they're not looking into every assaulted student's claim, which means that some students' concerns have been swept under the rug or ignored altogether.
These schools are clearly placing the burden on the victim: A surprising 51 percent of the schools surveyed said they didn't even have a hotline for students to report sexual assaults, and many administrators at the schools whom students could approach haven't received training to know how to deal with the traumatized and hurting victims of sexual assault.
With this new information, it's sad to say that the "one in five" figure isn't surprising, even though it's seriously disturbing.