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1 in 5 female undergrads victim of sexual assault, national study reports

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Posted at 10:57 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-23 00:57:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- There is a crisis on college campuses. A national study released this week says one in five female undergraduates have been the victim of sexual attacks.

During four years of college more than 25 percent of female students on college campuses are sexually assaulted, according to a report released by the Association of American Universities. 150,000 students, 27 universities, it's one of the largest studies ever looking at college sexual violence. And its findings mirror what is happening in Utah.

“We can say it is happening at all these other universities we're not exempt from this problem for being where we live or anything like that,” said Megan Waters, Violence and Injury Program with the Utah State Department of Health.

Twenty percent of students surveyed said sexual assault is extremely problematic. Right now there are three sexual assault investigations underway at different Utah universities.

“Sexual assault is a problem on campuses and something that needs to be addressed head on,” said Marty Liccardo, Health Educator, University of Utah Victim Advocacy.

The University of Utah is putting in extra effort and resources on prevention and to educate students on safe, healthy behaviors.

“More and more of this research is just going to come out now, which is just going to bolster our ability to identify gaps and services and issues and create support efforts for those who need it,” Liccardo said.

As these studies are conducted universities say it reminds them there's always room for improvement in prevention and help for victims.

“Any college would be doing a disservice if we said we were doing it right we always need to strive to do more and do better and open ears and eyes to more of what we could be doing,” Liccardo said.