Data from the survey demonstrated that the prevalence of sexual assault has increased since 2015. The survey also said offenders are most often another student, that incidents frequently involve alcohol and that assaults occur most often in residence halls, fraternity housing and other residential housing.
Menghini said she can speculate that a number of public cases on UNC's campus over the course of the past several years have contributed to increased reporting of sexual violence.
“The work that the campus has done to a number of offices, to explain where and how to report and the resources available, we think could lead to increased reporting,” Menghini said. “But certainly the national #MeToo movement and the publications of sexual violence on college campuses contributed as well.”
The data also showed that students who choose not to seek help often don’t because they think their incident wasn't serious enough to be reported. There were varying reasons for this, including that the student wasn't injured or hurt from the incident or that the encounter began consensually.
“As we have said several times before, one incident is far too many and we certainly have plenty of incidents we need to do more about,” Menghini said. “How we do that and how we engage the entire community remains our big challenge, because certainly no (single) office can be responsible for how we manage this.”
In their presentation, Menghini and Nolan presented three next steps in response to the survey results, which included:
- Faculty engagement to further analyze the data and determine any additional areas of focus
- Bringing together a coalition of students, faculty and staff to develop a plan to address additional areas of need for prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence and stalking
- Co-hosting working sessions with other students, faculty, staff and experts to inform the coalition's work.
Interim Chairperson of the Faculty Lloyd Kramer said this plan is important for all faculty to be aware of, beyond the Faculty Executive Committee.
“One thing that I would like to think about with you at some point is how we bring this to the whole council,” Kramer said. “This is really important for faculty much beyond this group.”