The sexual harassment and assault epidemic has become so pervasive that it’s hard to know how to identify and report it, according to a new report from the National Women’s Law Center.
The report, which was released Monday, says universities are under pressure to address the problem in ways that “reduce the likelihood of perpetration, protect survivors, and provide the support and resources needed to help victims recover.”
While universities have made progress, there are still many more victims to protect and to provide for.
The Center found that colleges are failing to properly identify sexual harassment, assault, and other forms of sexual assault, leading to an “invisible, silent epidemic.”
While a handful of institutions are taking steps to make their campuses safer, the Center found universities are still not doing enough.
The report says universities need to adopt the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences report on the epidemic, which called for greater efforts to protect students from sexual harassment.
“It is vital that we address the epidemic head-on, but unfortunately, too often universities are not doing this,” NOLC executive director Danielle Rhoades said in a statement.
“We call on institutions to make it easier for survivors to report their harassers, to prevent sexual violence, and to help students recover from the trauma of being targeted.”
While the report did not pinpoint a specific school or campus, it did point out that there are many more survivors than universities currently know about.
It also says universities have been slow to adopt new policies and training for campus administrators, who must make decisions about whether or not to report allegations of sexual violence.