Survey finds over 20 percent of U-M female students sexually assaulted

A new survey says that more than 20 percent of University of Michigan female students have been sexually assaulted on campus.

"I think it is terrible," said Alex Darr, a senior. 

Darr is one of countless students on the campus of U-M in Ann Arbor troubled by a new survey showing more than 11 percent of undergrad students have been raped. Twice as many when it comes to women.

"I think it's kind of unavoidable," Darr said. "I feel like sometimes people aren't careful. It's just terrible. Hopefully we can do something more about this so students feel more comfortable on campus."

Three thousand students were surveyed. Many of the students reported they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol and too inebriated to stop it.. Physical force and verbal pressure also involved in several of the assaults.

Student Tara Van Cleave says some of her friends are victims but chose not to report it.

"A lot of people don't want to get, such as a frat, in trouble because of one person," she said.  "So they just stay quiet. They don't want to be a person who ratted somebody out and everybody would know."

"There is something associated with college parties especially with Greek life," said student Arjoune Dhanekula. "That sexual harassment is almost the norm."

"It seems like it's something people just accept - which is bad," said student Jason Hoving. "Because they're around it in the atmosphere, they kind of perpetuate it."

It's not just women - we've learned nearly 7 percent of men undergrads have also been sexually assaulted. 

The school is teaching this at orientation talking about the dangers to raise awareness.

"We are adding staff to help us develop and deliver the best possible education and prevention programs," said Mark Schlissel, university president. "To speed up sexual misconduct investigations. And to help survivors."

U-M officials found the data just as disturbing and during a press conference, vowed to bring those numbers down. 

Incoming freshmen got their first college lesson which is now part of orientation, on the harsh reality of sexual dangers on campus.

"I thought it was a really good topic to bring up, like it's really important," said freshman Brittany Schloskey. "It's not surprising. You could run into anyone. And it could effect someone you know."

"Obviously it's a problem worldwide," said freshman Skylar Burkardt. "But there's precautions to be taken and I'm going to take them."

While many students reported that they felt safe, officials say one sexual assault is one too many.
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