IU South Bend Campus Climate Survey Results

As part of Indiana University’s ongoing and comprehensive commitment to effectively addressing the issue of sexual assault, IU distributed a climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct to all students on the IU South Bend campus in March 2016.

IU South Bend’s Community Attitudes and Experiences with Sexual Assault and Misconduct Survey asked students about their attitudes, perceptions and direct experiences with sexual assault, as well as their opinions on university resources and practices related to preventing and dealing with instances of sexual misconduct.

The results set forth in the full report were compiled from the 1,311 students (“participants”) who completed at least 50 percent of the survey, were age 18 or older, were not online-only students, and who did not self-identify as something other than male or female . This total represents approximately 25 percent of the total student population on the campus. In nominal terms, 89 percent of the survey participants whose answers are reported here were undergraduates, and 11 percent were graduate students; 67 percent were women, and 34 percent were men.

A few of the key findings are set forth below. The complete data and summary of key findings can be found in the full report. It should be noted that, as with any voluntary study, the data collected and set forth in the report is reflective only of the participants who responded and participated in the survey. Response bias is expected, given the sensitive nature of the topic and the specific focus on sexual violence. The data cannot therefore be understood to be a complete representation of the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students at Indiana University South Bend. Regardless, we look to this data and the responses shared by the participants as important to our understanding of experiences and perceptions.

The information shared by participants will continue to be used to inform the work conducted through the university-wide Student Welfare Initiative and IU South Bend’s Title IX Team.

Key Findings From the 2016 Survey

  • Instances of sexual misconduct reported by participants prior to coming to IU South Bend exceeds, in every case, those experienced by participants since coming to IU South Bend. It is noted that graduate men participants did not report experiencing nonconsensual attempted sexual penetration or nonconsensual sexual penetration before or since coming to IU South Bend.

  • Undergraduate women participants reported the highest rates of experiencing nonconsensual sexual touching since coming to IU South Bend at 9 percent. Among undergraduate men and graduate women participants, stalking was reported as the most experienced type of sexual misconduct since coming to IU South Bend, with 3 percent and 9 percent respectively. Graduate men reported equal rates of experiencing stalking and nonconsensual sexual touching since coming to IU South Bend (4%).

  • Since coming to IU South Bend, 5 percent of undergraduate women participants and 4 percent of graduate women participants reported experiencing attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration. This tracks much lower than the most cited study indicating that 1 in 5 women experience attempted or completed rape during their collegiate experience (Fisher et al., 2000).

  • Undergraduate women participants reported most often telling friends about the experience (60%), followed by parents (33%) and someone at IU South Bend (19%). (See Table 2.4). When asked what kinds of responses they received overall, the majority of participants (71%) indicated they felt supported by those they shared their experience with.

  • Of those undergraduate women participants reporting experiences of attempted or completed acts of sexual penetration, 65 percent of those reporting completed and 68 percent of those reporting attempted sexual penetration noted the assailant was not affiliated with IU South Bend.

  • 48 percent of undergraduate women participants reported that the incident occurred at an off-campus residence, and the majority indicated that the assailant was known to them in some way.

  • Among undergraduate women participants reporting on a specific experience of sexual misconduct, 70 percent indicated the assailant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and 55 percent indicated they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 70 percent of the participants did not believe the assailants intentionally gave them alcohol to the point of intoxication for the purpose of sexual contact.

  • Among undergraduate women participants who did not tell anyone about the incident, 53 percent responded that they felt it was a private matter they wanted to deal with on their own, and 50 percent said they did not think what happened was “serious enough to disclose to others.”

  • Participants across genders and levels in school reported high rates of feeling valued in the classroom and learning environment, as well as feeling that faculty, staff, and administrators are genuinely concerned about their welfare. The majority of participants additionally reported feeling that faculty, staff, and administrators at IU South Bend treat students fairly.

  • Undergraduate men and women reported higher rates of feeling safe on campus (UW 83%; UM 92%) than feeling safe in the area surrounding campus (UW 58%; UM 70%). Graduate student participants similarly reported feeling safer on campus than in the area surrounding campus.

  • The majority of undergraduate and graduate participants felt that the university would take a report of sexual assault or other sexual violence seriously (UM 86%; UW 82%; GM 79%; GW 80%). Additionally, while nearly half of undergraduate and graduate women participants reported feeling that it was likely that the alleged offender or their associates would retaliate against someone making a report, these groups reported higher rates of feeling that the university would likely take steps to protect the person making the report from retaliation (UW 73%; GW 70%).

  • Overall, graduate women participants reported the lowest rates of understanding and knowing where to get immediate help, how to follow up with campus officials, and how to find more information about IU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures if they or a friend were sexually assaulted.

  • Graduate student participants reported lower rates of having seen or received information from IU South Bend regarding what constitutes sexual misconduct, as well as information about IU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

  • Undergraduate men participants reported the highest rates of having talked about the issue of consent with a romantic/sexual partner (UM 66%). Among all participants, the majority had previously spoken to friends about consent.

  • Men and women participants most frequently mentioned courses, syllabi, and professors when asked how and where they received information from IU South Bend about sexual misconduct and IU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

  • The majority of student participants across all groups were consistent in identifying situations that indicated that someone is not giving or is not able to give consent (ex: physical resistance, saying “no,” not saying “yes,” asleep, use of substances with impairment, etc.). Most notably, men and women were consistent in their understanding, with small variances.  

  • Participants across all genders and class levels reported high rates of confidence to express discomfort when someone says that rape victims are to blame for being raped, and that they would help someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get away from a potentially vulnerable situation to a safe place.

  • Undergraduate men and women participants reported lower rates of thinking that sexual misconduct is a problem on the IU South Bend campus, with 8 percent and 14 percent respectively. Graduate men and women participants reported slightly higher rates, with 16 percent of graduate men and 18 percent of graduate women reporting agreement that it is a problem for the campus.

  • Of the undergraduate male participants who witnessed a situation that may have led to or was a sexual assault, 58 percent reported that they confronted the person who appeared to be causing the situation.

View the full report

Please contact titleix@iu.edu or call 812-855-4889 if an accessible alternative of the report is needed.