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One in twenty students has already been the victim of rape, one in ten of sexual assault, violence attributed in particular to the “group effect” or to alcohol, according to the findings emerging from a study in teaching higher published Monday.

A survey in higher education published Monday, October 12 shows that one in twenty female students has already been rape victim, one in ten of sexual assault. It was carried out by the Observatory for studying sexual and gender-based violence in higher education, which was set up in May 2019 with the objective of assessing the extent of the phenomenon. A questionnaire, distributed online between April and December 2019 to students from around fifty universities, prepara- tions, grandes écoles, BTS, DUT, received 10,381 responses, mainly from women (76%).

“Even if the chosen method was designed and validated by an inter-professional working group, this survey remains above all a student initiative”, specify the authors. Among the main lessons, one in 20 students (5%) say they have been a victim of rape.

One in 10 (11%) female students has been the victim of sexual assault. This is also the case for 5% of men, according to this study. The group effect (20%), impunity (18%), excessive alcohol consumption (18%) and lack of education of students (18%) are the causes of violence most often mentioned in the question sheet. In total, 34% of students declare having been victims or witnesses of sexual violence: for 24% of them, the violence was suffered under the influence of alcohol.

“From the circle of close friends and people known to the victim”

Acts of physical violence tend to be committed in the evening or on weekends off campus: this is the case for 56% of rapes. This violence is mainly committed by students. “It is therefore often the circle of close friends and people known to the victim,” said the report.

In addition, 35% of the men questioned consider their establishment to be egalitarian compared to 27% of the women. And the proportion of respondents who consider their institution as sexist increases significantly with the years of study. “We assume that students (…) become aware of the reality of gender-based violence throughout their student life”, underline the authors of the survey.

The systems put in place by institutions to deal with this type of situation are not well known, the report finally underlines. In fact, more than a quarter of respondents do not know if there is one in their establishment and 18% consider that none exist.

With AFP

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