MSU survey: Nearly Two-thirds of female undergrads have been sexually harassed

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East Lansing, Mich (WLNS) — A new MSU study reports nearly two-thirds of undergraduate women experienced sexually harassment in the 2018-19 year.

The report studied the frequency of relationship violence and sexual misconduct along with the impact of new changes made across campus.

“We needed a comprehensive assessment of the climate at MSU for students, faculty and staff,” said Rebecca Campbell, professor of psychology and adviser to the president on RVSM issues. “MSU has never done a truly campuswide survey on relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and we needed to hear from our community about their experiences, concerns and ideas for changing the culture at MSU.

The study included more than 15,000 responses from students, faculty and staff, the survey focused on four areas: RVSM (Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct) prevalence and incidents, the impact of RVSM resources, campus climate and workplace incivility, according to a press release.

Data also showed that relationship violence did not only affect undergraduate women, but also undergraduate men. The study found more than one-third (42.2%) of undergraduate men and 32.4% of men graduate/professional students experienced sexual harassment in the 2018-19 academic year.

“Those numbers are in line with surveys that have come out in other schools,” attorney Elizabeth Abdnour says, “as well as other national and more local research that’s been done on the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. So I’m not personally particularly surprised by them.”

The findings also showed that marginalized populations were more likely to experience relationship violence, including women, people with disabilities, bisexual people and transgender people.

Overall, respondents said they were aware of the resources MSU had offered to help with domestic and relationship harassment, but said online training sessions were not as effective as the in-person training they received.

To view a copy of the full report, click here.

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