This Campus Sexual Assault Study obtained self-reports from a random sample of undergraduate college women (N = 5,446) regarding their experiences with physically forced, alcohol-enabled, other drug-enabled, or drug-facilitated sexual assault before and since entering college.
The study found that nearly 20 percent of the women had been victims of some type of completed sexual assault since entering college. Most of these sexual assaults occurred after the women voluntarily consumed alcohol; few occurred after women had been given a drug without their knowledge or consent. Women in their first year of college were excluded from the study, since the risk period set was the past 12 months. Compared to third-year and fourth-year women, second-year women had significantly higher past 12-month prevalence estimates for all types of completed sexual assault, except for drug-facilitated sexual assault. These findings are consistent with past research in finding positive associations between women's use of substances and their likelihood of experiencing sexual assault; however, these findings should not be used to conclude or imply that these women are responsible for their sexual assault. Sexual-assault prevention programs that target college men should emphasize that an intoxicated or incapacitated person cannot legally or otherwise consent to sexual contact. The authors encourage the development, implementation, and evaluation of college-based sexual-assault prevention programs that include a component on the link between alcohol/drug use and sexual assault. In addition, such programs should instruct students in the use of various cognitive, behavioral, and social strategies that monitor the amount of alcohol and/or drugs they consume. These programs should also teach both women and men how they can assist in protecting their peers from sexual assault. 2 figures, 1 table, and 21 references