Oct. 15, 2019
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A recent survey on campus climate regarding sexual assault and sexual misconduct shows that University of Missouri students believe the campus is safer and are more aware of available services and resources offered by the university compared to four years ago. The study also showed that nearly all incoming students have completed training regarding prevention of sexual assault or misconduct.

The 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct was compiled by Westat, a social science research firm engaged by the Association of American Universities (AAU). MU is one of 33 AAU public and private institutions that participated in the project. MU also participated in a similar survey in 2015.

Though pleased with the progress in several areas of the survey, university officials expressed a continued focus on prevention efforts as 26.6% of undergraduate women surveyed indicated being sexually assaulted since coming to MU.

“We have been working very hard to increase awareness of resources as well as educate students on how to prevent sexual assault and misconduct,” said Andy Hayes, assistant vice chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX. “While I’m very concerned about the number of women who indicated on the survey that they have experienced sexual assault and misconduct, I’m encouraged that we’ve seen some significant improvements in many areas over the past four years.”

Highlights in the report include the following:

  • 92% of MU students responding to the survey were aware of specific services and resources the school provides for victims of sexual assault or other misconduct. Additionally, survey takers were more aware of the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, up to 71.9% in 2019 from 58.1 percent in 2015.
  • Among incoming students responding to the survey, 93.9% completed training or attended an information session on preventing sexual assault or other misconduct. The AAU average was 89%.
  • 21.6% of MU respondents believed that sexual assault and misconduct are very problematic for the university. This is a decrease from 28.7% in 2015. The AAU average is 24.8%
  • 65.9% of respondents believe that a report of sexual assault or misconduct will be taken seriously by campus officials. This is an increase from 2015 and slightly above the AAU average of 65.6%.
  • 26.6% of undergraduate women responding to the survey indicated experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact since coming to MU. This is a slight reduction from 27.2% in 2015.
  • 29.4% of survey takers who identified as transgender or gender-questioning cited experiencing non-consensual sexual contact since coming to the university. The average for AAU institutions was 40.2%.
  • Mizzou’s response rate of 20.4% was higher than the response in 2015 (15.7%) and higher than the average for public AAU schools (16.5%).

“The safety of our campus community is our No. 1 priority, and I am grateful for the hard work of our committed faculty, staff and students who continue to make this an exceptional place to learn, live and work,” MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said. “These results tell me we still have work to do. With some encouraging results, I am confident our demonstrated efforts over the past four years have been effective. However, a single instance of sexual assault or misconduct is one too many. This important work must continue.”