Despite more than 60 Yale students filing formal complaints of sexual misconduct in the last seven years, only five assailants have been expelled, an investigation by Business Insider has found.
However, the long-standing problem of sexual assault and harassment on university campuses is not limited to Yale, it's almost a U.S. phenomenon.
Statistics on sexual assault and harassment on campus show the need for change. For instance, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. For graduate students, 38 percent of females and nearly 1 in 4 males have reported sexual harassment from faculty or staff. Roughly half of all such instances included multiple victims of the same faculty member.
About 40 percent of female faculty members and 30 percent of female non-faculty staff members experience sexual harassment.
Colleges and universities have tried to confront the problem, but there is so much more to do. These gaps lead to costly consequences. Sexual harassment and assault drive talented faculty, staff, and students away from colleges and universities.
There have been several patterns that universities have followed that brought the problem to its current point, according to the Business Insider report.
Colleges tend to botch sexual assault hearings out of fear that their reputation will be damaged. The college hearings tend to be quicker and the amount of evidence is different from the standard. In addition, the proceedings are generally conducted in secret.
One of the examples of failure to act took place in 2004 when Brianne Randall-Gay, then 17, said Nassar had molested her with ungloved hands when she sought help for her back. The university's investigation, however, determined that Nassar's behavior was "medically appropriate." The police then closed the case.
Much later, Nassar was revealed as one the biggest sexual assaulters in U.S. history with at least 265 women and girls saying they were assaulted by him in Michigan and elsewhere, some going back to the 1990s.
The top-level officials in colleges and universities have also been reluctant to share their own uncomfortable truths concerning sexual assault and harassment because of the highly competitive environment in which they seek to recruit top faculty, students and athletes.
If all campuses shared more information about their experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault in a public forum, such as on the U.S. Department of Education's Campus Safety and Security website, the true scope of the challenges would be better defined on each campus, and the stigma of acknowledging them would be removed.
The reports suggest that unless U.S. colleges and universities continue to bare the minimum, rather than prioritizing their students, the sexual harassment statistics will not likely improve.
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