Harvard and Brown Universities had the highest response rates to a national survey on sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses released this week. The Association of American Universities’ results showed 26 percentof those surveyed at Harvard and 25 percent of respondents at Brown said they were victims of non-consensual sexual contact through force, or when they were incapacitated and otherwise unable to consent.
One of the survey’s authors, University of Maryland Research Professor, David Cantor, with the research firm Westat, says 53 percent of Harvard students responded to the survey and 35 percent of Brown students responded – compared with an average of 19 percent among all 27 participating colleges and universities. Of those who responded, one in four female undergraduates at both Harvard and Brown Universities report being victims of sexual misconduct.
Cantor says one reason for the high participation rate at Harvard and Brown is that both universities went all out to motivate their students to make them aware of the survey because they wanted a high rate of participation. Four of the 27 schools participating are in New England. Cantor says the survey's primary goal is to help institutions of higher education prevent and respond to sexual assault and misconduct on campus.