Data – Campus Violence Against Women

Following up on the recent campus rape case at Stanford that drew national attention due to the terribly small legal penalty against the perpetrator, I searched for summary data at the national level, and found nothing helpful other than a lot of details with a lot of uncertainties.

Please read the following note before examining the data. And] (more than usual) please remember that these caveats are incredibly important. It would be very sad if the data were misused by those who ignore these cautions:

It would be an injustice to compare these data. Why?

  • Most places (representing 1/5 of all students) don’t report at all.
  • There are no reporting standards
  • Numbers can easily be under-reported for many reasons including fear, complacency, etc.
  • Numbers can be enhanced due to extra scrutiny, strong encouragement to report, etc.
  • Thus, a higher value can literally be “good” if it represents those who feel they can report safely

Thus, my encouragement is to look at the big picture, and/or places with which you’re familiar, and ask yourself: why do I see what I see? Is there a problem? Can it be better? How?

Below, you will find two tables, and information on the data source at the end. The data shown is:

  • Name of Institution
  • Size, ie. student population
  • Number of reported events of various kinds, normalized to number per 1,000 (“1k”)
    • Rapes
    • Total Criminal, VAWA, and All (see end for definitions of these)

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