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Students report three alleged incidents of rape or sexual assault on campus every week

‘Each incident of sexual violence on campus is one too many’


Students report at least three alleged incidents of rape or sexual assault on university premises to police every week.

Since the start of 2019, there have been at least 370 allegations of sexual assaults on English university premises, and 320 reports of rape, reported to police, data obtained from 24 police forces by the Express has revealed.

That’s an average of over 170 reports of rape or sexual assault on university campuses per year, or 3.3 per week.

However, the true scale of the issue could be significantly higher as this excludes alleged offences in private uni accommodation. It also does not show any instances that go unreported.

Between 1st January 2019 and 27th December 2022, Essex Police recorded 42 reports of sexual assault, with four charges, and 29 reports of rape, with zero charges.

In the same time period, Lancashire Police recorded 41 alleged sexual offences, with a report of one charge, and 43 reports of rape, which resulted in two people being charged.

Devon and Cornwall Police recorded 23 allegations of sexual assault, with one charge and one case under investigation, and 20 reports of rape – eight of which are under investigation.’Each incident of sexual violence on campus is one too many

In a 2021 sexual assault survey, The Tab found that 59 per cent of female students said they’d been sexually assaulted at uni – but just seven per cent of students reported their assault to their uni.

Regarding the new data, a spokesperson for Universities UK said more needs to be done to end sexual harassment everywhere – including at universities. “Each incident of sexual violence on campus is one too many.

“As part of their duty of care to students, universities take all reports of harassment, violence or abuse very seriously and are committed to becoming safer places to live, work and study.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story contact Refuge on their free 24/7 helpline 0808 2000 247 or contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline.

The Tab’s Do Better campaign puts a focus on the rising student sexual assault problem. Universities need to do more to support students and the culture around sexual assault needs to change. If you have a story you think we should know about, please email izzy@thetab.com

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