Despite how prevalent sexual abuse on college campuses can be, victims are not likely to report it. Sexual abuse can refer to any type of unwanted sexual activity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains that anything from unwanted touching to forced sexual contact is a form of assault.

For colleges that receive funding from the federal government, they must report sexual assault. What factors contribute to sexual abuse on campus?

Few students report sexual assault

When a person reports sexual assault, it can prevent other attackers from hurting others. Of women who experience sexual assault in college, only one in five report the attack to cops. While it may be difficult to discuss the assault with a stranger, it can give the victim more control over the situation. It can also supply an opening for the school to protect the student.

Students may succumb to peer pressure

Most college-age people live and hang out with people in their age group. They may not have access to advice from parents or older adults. So, it is easier to succumb to peer pressure when it comes to partying, drinking or other activities that may make them uncomfortable. A college student may feel forced into sexual activity for social acceptance.

Some students experiment with drugs and alcohol

Sexual assault may involve drugs or alcohol. When incapacitated, he or she cannot give consent to sexual contact. About 15 percent of freshman women who experienced assault did so under the influence of drugs. It is normal for young people to experiment with alcohol in college. Unfortunately, alcohol can also decrease awareness.