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Study illuminates reality of sexual assault at UNC-Chapel Hill

The results of this year’s Association of American Universities’ (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct include stats that paint a disturbing picture of those very serious issues at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Almost 6,000 students at UNC’s flagship campus participated in the study, which sought “to gain understanding of the general climate on campuses across the country regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner (relationship) violence and stalking.”

Among the results:

  • 20.7 percent of all respondents reported experiencing sexual touching or penetration involving physical force; inability to consent or stop what was happening because the student was passed out, asleep or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol; coercion or without a voluntary agreement.
  • 15.4 percent of all respondents reported experiencing sexual touching alone that included the same factors
  • 11.2 percent of all respondents experiencing sexual penetration alone that included the same factors.

The group most likely to report these experiences were undergraduate women in their fourth year or higher (45 percent). Undergraduate women respondents in general made up 35 percent of those who reported such experiences.

The next highest category was students who identify as transgender men or women, nonbinary, questioning or who did not list a gender identity. More than 26 percent of undergraduate students in that category reported sexual touching or penetration without consent — and more than 29 percent in that category who are fourth year or higher undergraduate students.


Read a breakdown of the full study here.

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Study illuminates reality of sexual assault at UNC-Chapel Hill