Don’t Let the Rolling Stone Controversy Distract You From the Campus Rape Epidemic

1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted in college. Just 1 percent of attackers are punished.

Protestors in front of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia.

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Questions continue to mount about the veracity of the explosive Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. On Friday, the UVA fraternity allegedly involved released a statement disputing details of the story, and Rolling Stone published a note to readers acknowledging that it had failed to adequately vet the story.

Nevertheless, the serious problem with sexual assault on America’s college campuses cannot be denied, as the data below shows. (For more details on the research cited here, read the original version of this article.)

This article has been updated.

Sources

“1 in 5 undergraduate women…”: Christopher P. Krebs, Christine H. Lindquist, Tara D. Warner, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Sandra L. Martin; “College Women’s Experiences with Physically Forced, Alcohol- or Other Drug-Enabled, and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Before and Since Entering College” (link)

“Of the undergraduate women who are sexually assaulted while in college…”: Christopher P. Krebs, Christine H. Lindquist, Tara D. Warner, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Sandra L. Martin for the National Institute of Justice; “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“4 percent of undergraduate men…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“2.5 percentof male undergrads admit…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“63 percent of college men who admit…”: David Lisak and Paul M. Miller, “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists” (PDF)

“85 percent of college sexual assault victims…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“More than 1/4 of victims say…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Frat members who took part in a rape prevention program…”: John D. Foubert and Bradford C. Perry, “Creating Lasting Attitude and Behavior Change in Fraternity Members and Male Student Athletes” (PDF)

“Before college, sexual assault perpetration rates…”: John D. Foubert, Johnathan T. Newberry, and Jerry L. Tatum, “Behavior Differences Seven Months Later: Effects of a Rape Prevention Program” (link)

“4 percent of college sexual assault victims report…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Percentage of assailants who are disciplined…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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