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33 Alaska Just. F. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/aljufor33 and id is 1 raw text is: 














Spring 2016                            UNIVERSITY of ALASiKA ANCHORAGE                                 Vol. 33, No. 1


         University of Alaska Students' Disclosures of Sexual

               Misconduct and Sexual Assault Victimizations


Brad A. Myrstol and Lindsey Blumenstein
   In a recent Alaska Justice Statistical
Analysis Center (AJSAC) Fact Sheet issue
(available at www.uaa.alaska.edu/aj sac) we
published initial findings from the University
of Alaska Campus Climate Survey, a re-
search study funded by the U.S. Department
of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. The
University of Alaska Campus Climate Sur-
vey was designed to establish the prevalence
of sexual misconduct and sexual assault
committed against University of Alaska
(UA) students both on and off campus.
   The estimates of sexual misconduct and
sexual assault published in the Fact Sheet
were based on the self-reported experiences
of 1,982 randomly selected undergradu-
ate and graduate students enrolled at the
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA),
the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF),
and the University of Alaska Southeast
(UAS) during spring semester 2016. Results
showed that approximately 1 out of every 9
UA students experienced sexual misconduct,
sexual assault, or both between January
2015 and spring semester 2016, either on
or off campus.
   Using data from the University ofAlaska
Campus Climate Survey, this article seeks to
answer three basic questions: (1) How often
did UA students who experienced sexual
violence between January 2015 and spring
semester 2016, either on or off campus,
disclose their victimization to others? (2)
For those UA students who did experience
sexual violence victimization and who chose


to disclose their victimization to others, with
whom did they share their experiences? (3)
Did the likelihood of sexual violence dis-
closure vary significantly according to UA
students' demographic characteristics (age,
race/ethnicity, sex/gender)?
   This article uses the data collected for
the University of Alaska Campus Climate
Survey to explore how often UA students
who experienced sexual violence, either on
or off campus, disclosed their victimiza-
tions to others. (Sexual violence is defined
as sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or
both.)

Survey Definitions of
Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault

   Sexual misconduct refers to unwanted,
uninvited, or coerced touching of a sexual
nature, or unwanted or uninvited sexual
commentary. Survey respondents were
asked, Since January 2015, has someone
attempted or succeeded in having unwanted,
uninvited, or coerced touching of a sexual
nature or unwanted/uninvited sexual com-
mentary with you under any circumstances
(on or off campus), or do you suspect some-
one did?
   Every survey respondent was provided
the following examples of sexual miscon-
duct: kissing without permission; forced
kissing; touching of body or private parts in
a sexual way without permission; grabbing,
fondling, or rubbing up against a person in
a sexual way (even if over clothing); taking
a sexual experience further than wanted
even if consent was given for minor sexual
contact such as kissing or touching, without
it leading to intercourse; and, lewd or blatant
sexual comments that make a person feel
uncomfortable, uneasy, or unsafe.
   Sexual assault refers to nonconsensual or
unwanted sexual contact with penetration,
even if consent was given for minor sexual
contact such as kissing or touching. Survey
respondents were asked, Since January


2015, has someone attempted or succeeded
in having nonconsensual or unwanted sexual
contact with you under any circumstances
(on or off campus), or do you suspect some-
one did?
   Every survey respondent was provided
the following examples of sexual assault:
sexual penetration with a finger or object
(someone putting their finger or an object
in the vagina or anus); oral sex (someone's
mouth or tongue making contact with
genitals); anal sex (someone's penis being
put into an anus); and sexual intercourse
(someone's penis being put into a vagina).

Disclosure and Reporting of
Sexual Violence Victimization

   This article makes use of two terms to
discuss sexual violence victims' efforts to
make their victimizations known to others:
disclose and report. These two terms are
distinguished by the recipient of the infor-
mation. Disclosure includes all the victims'
discussions with others, but reports only
includes the victims' discussions with offi-
cials such as university or law enforcement
representatives.

Nondisclosure of
Sexual Violence Victimization

   Within the realm of criminal offenses,
sexual violence is among the most un-
derreported. Table 1 (page 11) presents
findings from the 2014 National Crime
Victimization Survey (an annual nationwide
survey conducted by the U.S. Department of
Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics), which
asks crime victims if they reported their
victimization to police. Overall, less than
half (46.0%) of all violent crime incidents
were reported to police. Among the violent
crimes examined, sexual assault/rape
victimizations were the least likely to be


Please see UA students, page 11

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