MIT has attempted to put a precise estimate on the prevalence of sexual violence on its campus in a comprehensive survey taken anonymously by its students.
According to results, which were published on Monday, about one in six female undergraduates at MIT who responded reported being sexually assaulted at least one time while enrolled at the university. 5 percent of those respondents said they reported the crime, according to results released Monday by the school. The Boston Globe reported that 3,800 students responded to the survey out of 10,800 who were invited to participate.
According to The Boston Globe, “MIT became the highest-profile college to put such a specific estimate on the prevalence of sexual violence on campus, amid heightened national attention on the issue. Many schools have been hesitant to conduct such surveys, but advocates have urged colleges to do so because victims are more likely to reveal that they were assaulted if they can remain anonymous. Undergraduates, in particular, are viewed as most at risk.”
MIT university president L. Rafael Reif said in a mass email sent to students and faculty of the school, that he was “disturbed by the extent and nature of the problem’’ reflected in the survey results.
“Sexual assault violates our core MIT values,” Reif wrote. “I am confident that, with this shared understanding and armed with this new data, the MIT community will find a path to significant positive change.”