Babe report: Half of female students say they’ve been sexually assaulted

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Babe report: Half of female students say they’ve been sexually assaulted

Over a quarter experienced sexual assault in their first year of university

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As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, babe will be publishing statistics, reports, stories and interviews over the next 30 days. We believe in empowering survivors, arming readers with knowledge and fighting back against the prevalence of rape culture. 

49 per cent of female students say they’ve been victims of sexual assault, according to figures in babe’s consent and sexual assault survey.

Over half – 51 per cent – of those who had been assaulted said it happened while at university, with over a quarter – 27 per cent reported experiencing assault in their first year of university.

67 per cent of those who experienced sexual assault said they knew their attacker.

The same survey found that 22 per cent of female students say they’ve been raped, with nearly half – 49 per cent – saying it happened while they were at university. Again the most common time period for experiencing it was in first year – 23 per cent said they’d been a victim of rape while a fresher.

Overall, the number of students who reported being sexually assaulted or raped at university, regardless of gender, was 40 and 17 per cent respectively.

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Over three quarters of those who had experienced rape – 78 per cent – said they knew their attacker. Anecdotally at least, it seemed for most that the attacker was a close friend or boyfriend. One girl told us: “It happened just after the end of my first year of uni I was assaulted after a night out by another close friend while I was drunk and asleep. He was sober and he thought I’d ‘wake up and enjoy it’ – needless to say, I didn’t.”

Another respondent said: “In the middle of first year of uni I was raped. I took two years out because I didn’t think I could continue the course. He wasn’t on my course but saw him around, and he had bragged to everyone, so everyone knew what had happened.

“I didn’t report it to the uni or to the police. I regret that now. But back then I felt there was no support and nowhere that I could turn to talk about what had happened. It was a really tough scary time. And it almost cost me my degree.”

The full rankings are as follows for both rape / sexual assault (per cent):

Aberdeen 19 / 36

Aberystwyth 18 / 37

Bath 8 / 31

Birmingham 14 /33

Bristol 16 / 43

Cambridge 21 / 42

Cardiff 12 / 34

Durham 16 / 40

Edinburgh 10 / 36

Exeter 11 / 26

Glasgow 22 / 37

Hull 13 / 48

Kent 24 / 47

King’s 37 / 50

Lancaster 14 / 21

Leeds 14 / 37

Leicester 9 / 26

Liverpool 15 /39

Loughborough 12 / 31

Manchester 17 / 35

Newcastle 12 / 39

Norwich 16 / 54

Nottingham 11 / 42

Oxford 12 / 37

Oxford Brookes 22 / 42

Sheffield 18 / 36

QUB 20 / 40

Reading 20 / 33

RHUL 12 / 27

Southampton 14 / 26

Sussex 15 / 54

Trent 10 / 29

UCL 25 / 50

UWE 22 / 39

Warwick 3 / 29

York 27 / 47

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@rosielanners

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