She said she is frequently asked what the law needs to be regarding sexual violence.
“It’s already illegal to rape people and that’s pretty clear,” she said. “I don’t think there’s a legal solution in terms of changing laws, but there’s a lot we can do to respond.”
Professor Sandra Martin, associate dean for research at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, spoke about risk factors for both sexual assailants and victims.
Alcohol use, particularly binge drinking, is a risk factor for both assailants and victims.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has found that research shows 34 to 74 percent of perpetrators are intoxicated at the time of the assault.
Victims of sexual assaults are often younger college students, due to naivete or a combination of other factors, Martin said.
“Year of study is important when we’re talking about sexual assaults. There’s a much higher rate of sexual assault freshman year than the later years of study,” she said.
A new Association of American Universities survey on campus sexual assault will be emailed to all UNC students today to assess their experiences and thoughts on this issue to inform future prevention and response efforts.
The survey received criticism earlier this year by some experts who thought it was too secretive and generalized.
Students will have access to the survey, which Martin helped to develop, until April 22. Half of the participants will receive a $5 Amazon gift card, and the other half will be entered into a drawing to win $500 in cash.
“Students will get about one reminder per week about the survey. We’ll also start pushing out word about it on social media,” said Hilary Delbridge, spokeswoman for the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.
UNC will be one of 28 schools in the U.S. administering the survey.