Below is a list of research findings on the incidence rates of sexual assault and intimate partner abuse among college students. These statistics were provided by the Red Flag Campaign.

In a study that surveyed more than 6,000 students at 32 colleges and universities in the U.S. It was found that1:

  • 1 in 4 women had been victims of rape or attempted rape
  • 84% of those raped knew their attacker, and 57% of the rapes happened on dates.
  • Only 27% of the women whose sexual assault met the legal definition of rape thought of themselves as rape victims.
  • 42 % of the rape victims told no one about the assault, and only 5% reported to the police.

The National College Women Sexual Victimization Study (n = 4,432) found that for those women who had been raped and sexually assaulted2:

  • 9 out of 10 offenders were known to the victim (boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, classmate, friend, acquaintance or co-worker).
  • 60% of completed rapes occurring on campus took place in the victim’s residence. 31% occurred in other living quarters on campus and 10.3% took place in a fraternity. Off campus victimizations also were more likely to occur in residencies.

Other statistics show:

  • 4 out of 5 students have experienced some form of sexual harassment during their school years3
  • 22% of all rape victims are between the usual college ages of 18-244
  • 75% of male students and 55% of female student involved in date rape had been drinking or using drugs5
  • 10-20% of all males are sexually violated at some point in their lives6
  • In Virginia, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men have been sexually abused at some point in their lives7
  • 32% of college students report dating violence by a previous partner, and 21% report violence by a current partner8


  • Warshaw, R. (1994). “I Never Called it Rape:” The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape. New York: Harper Perennial.
  • Fisher, S., Cullen, F., Turner, M., (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Hostile Hallways: The AAUW Survey on Sexual Harassment in America’s Schools. AAUW Educational Foundation, 1993.
  • Kilpatrick, DJ, Edmunds, CN, Seymour, A. (1992). Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, Arlington VA: National Victim Center.
  • Koss, K.P., (1998). Hidden rape: Incident, prevalence and descriptive characteristics of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of college students.” Rape and Sexual Assault, vol. II (ed.) A.W. Burgess. New York: Garland Publishing Co.
  • Virginia Department of Health brochure: Sexual Violence, A Men’s Issue; Developed by The Men’s Rape Prevention Project in Washington, DC.
  • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and Virginia Department of Health Center for Injury and Violence Prevention; 2004 Virginia Report.
  • C. Sellers and M. Bromley (1996). Violent Behavior in College Student Dating Relationships. Journal of Contemporary Justice.

See Also:

Sexual Assault Information

Friends, Family and Staff Can Help

What is Sexual Assault?