Sexual Assault Study: Over 20% of Female Undergrads Were Victims of According to U of M

University of Michigan Law School

“The issue of sexual assault keeps me awake at night.”
– Mark Schlissel,
University of Michigan President

Late last month, the University of Michigan published a study showing the sexual assault climate on its campus. The study comes at a time when sexual assault on college campuses around the country is garnering national attention. The results may be alarming.

The University of Michigan Study

The campus climate survey was sent out to 3,000 of the 43,623 undergraduates at the University of Michigan’s campus. The Washington Post reported that only two-thirds of the students responded.

The USA Today reported that the executive summary of sexual assault was “broadly defined in that study to include any form of nonconsensual sexual experience, including unwanted kissing, groping, digital penetration, or oral, vaginal, or anal sex.”

The margin for error for undergraduate women was a plus or minus 3.5 percentage. The margin for error for all students was a plus or minus 1.5 percentage.

Here are some of the findings:

  • The survey reported that 11.4 percent of respondents experienced some sort of non-consensual sexual behavior. The con-consensual sexual behavior ranges from touching to penetration.
  • What was also found was that among the undergraduate women, 22.5 percent experienced some range of non-consensual sexual behavior.
  • Among the male respondents, 6.8 percent experience sexual misconduct.
  • Of all the female students, 9.7 percent said they experience unwanted oral, vaginal, or anal penetration.
  • Fifty-six percent of the survivors reported that there was assault by a classmate.
  • Only 5.5 percent reported that they did not know the person assaulting them.
  • Female students are about eight times more likely than male students to experience sexual assault.
  • Sororities and fraternities are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than non-Greek students.
  • Undergraduates are 3 times more likely to experience sexual assault than graduate students.
  • Lesbian, gay, or bisexual students are 2.5 times more likely than heterosexual students.
  • 3.9 percent of students had reported the incidents to the university or law enforcement.

College Campuses National Wide

In May, a report was released that at unidentified upstate New York. Nineteen percent of female freshman reported being raped or were victims of attempted rape during their first year of school.

The 2014 Gederal Bureau of Justice Statistic report found that female student were less likely to be sexually assaulted than non-students.

The Washington Post reported that this polling showed that there was an annual rate of 6.1 sexual assault incidents per 1000 students.

The Washington Post also reported about another study to be published in September conducted by the Association of American Universities. This study covers 27 prominent research universities and hundreds of thousands of students.


In the article, State of Michigan Aims to Fight College Campus Sexual Assault, I discussed the $500,000 allocated to fight sexual assault of college campus in Michigan. According to an article by the Detroit Free Press, the money becomes available in grants. It is to be used to pursue and put into place best practices and prevent sexual assault on campus.

Right now in Michigan, there is not a uniform standard for how colleges and universities are to handle sexual assault cases. This has created vast inconsistencies among Michigan universities and incidents.

In Michigan college and university campuses, there has been punishments as harsh being expelled from school to being asked to write a 500 word essay for those student accused of sexual assault.

Three universities are facing investigation by the Federal Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights for their handling on specific sexual assault claims. According to the Detroit Free Press, between the years 2009 – 2014 the number of investigation have increase more than 10 times across the nation.

What Do You Think?

Are the findings of the recent University of Michigan’s campus climate survey something you expected? Do you think the study coming on in September will show similar numbers?

How do you think Michigan should fight college campus sexual assault?

Do you need help?

If you or someone you love has been a victim of criminal sexual conduct and would like legal counsel, please contact my office. This is a serious crime, and I’m here to help.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000