Survey: 1 in 5 female U of I students say they were raped

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A survey conducted last year at the University of Iowa shows 1 in 5 female undergraduate students said they were raped.

U-I Sexual Response Coordinator Monique DiCarlo says freshmen are most vulnerable as 11 percent reported they were raped in their first semester on campus.

“It’s the first time they’re away from home in a significant way and they’re establishing intimate relationships for the first time,” DiCarlo said. The results of the sexual assault survey were presented at a news conference today  on the Iowa City campus.

DiCarlo said the U-I’s response plan involves adding staff, but also extensive education and student involvement. “The reason we’re doing that is our climate data suggests students are most likely to tell their peers about an incident and so we want to make sure that students are prepared to hear their peers’ disclosure and they know an effective way to respond,” DiCarlo said.

The plan also involves expanding resources for people accused of sexual misconduct. Nearly 2,700 students responded to the “Speak Out Iowa” survey conducted last year. DiCarlo noted the response rate to the survey was only 9.3 percent and three-fourths of the respondents were women.

(Thanks Dean Borg, Iowa Public Radio)

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