Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
At Rutgers, there is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students. This commitment extends to asking our student body to give us honest feedback in certain areas, so we can continue to improve the climate of our campus community.
Today, we are releasing a report that details students’ experiences with sexual assault and dating violence at Rutgers–New Brunswick. The data are drawn from the Campus Climate Assessment Survey that the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children conducted in spring 2018.
The results of this survey are both encouraging and concerning. Overwhelmingly, we have seen growth in students’ awareness of sexual assault, dating violence and the resources available to them. However, 18 percent of students still reported some form of unwanted sexual contact and more than 50 percent reported some form of victimization in a dating relationship. In addition, 28 percent of students reported some form of unwanted sexual contact prior to coming to Rutgers.
We also learned from the survey that rates of sexual and dating violence are higher among queer-spectrum students and that graduate students who experience sexual and dating violence are less aware of resources than are undergraduates. The majority of students surveyed said they would intervene to help in situations related to dating or sexual violence. Additionally, we found that 50 percent of students disclose an experience of dating or sexual violence to a friend. This last point shows that we all have a role to play in supporting each other.
While these results signal that there is much work still to be done here at Rutgers and in society at large, Rutgers remains committed to being a leader among universities nationwide in ending sexual violence and providing support to students. Today, we are moving forward with an action plan that recognizes and supports all survivors; enhances recognition of dating violence and promotes healthy relationships; creates targeted outreach, programming and education for students from traditionally marginalized populations; increases accessibility and inclusivity of support services; and increases engagement of all men in violence prevention.
We thank the nearly 6,000 students at Rutgers–New Brunswick who voluntarily and confidentially completed online questionnaires for this survey. This data directly informs our ability to develop strategies that support survivors and prevent future interpersonal violence. The complete report of the survey results for Rutgers–New Brunswick is available here.
We reaffirm and encourage all members of our campus community to adopt the mantra: “I Support. I Prevent. I Speak.,” which means you support all survivors, embody a lifestyle that prevents sexual and dating violence in all forms and speak for a culture of consent and respect for fellow students.
It is imperative that every student know about available resources should they or someone they know become a victim of sexual violence. The offices for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, Student Affairs Compliance & Title IX and the Rutgers University Police Department stand ready to assist. Together, we can continue to make a difference.
Christopher Molloy, Chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick
Salvador Mena, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs