Victimization and perpetration of sexual violence in college-aged men and women

Jodi L. Sutherland, Angela Frederick Amar, Melissa A. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Sexual violence is a significant public health issue on college campuses. Much of the research to date has focused on sexual violence victimization with less data on perpetration of sexual violence. This analysis describes sexual violence victimization and perpetration experiences in a sample of college students. Methods: We sought to recruit college students attending three universities in the United States. A crosssectional survey design was used to contact students through e-mail or voluntary gatherings. Each participant completed a questionnaire focused on experiences of sexual violence. Results: Atotal of 1,978 students consented to participate in the studywith 1,829 completing the questions related to victimization experiences and 1,479 completing the questions related to perpetration experiences. Thirty-eight percent (n = 700) of the sample (men and women) reported sexual violence victimization. Victimization among women and men was 42.6% and 28.7%, respectively. Almost 6%(n = 100) of the sample reported sexual violence perpetration.Men reported a higher rate of perpetration, 14.5% (n = 60), compared to women, 3.8% (n = 40). Conclusion: This study provides data on both victimization and perpetration experiences of college students. Both college men and women reported experiences of being victimized as well as perpetrating sexual violence. Understanding victimization and perpetration on college campuses will increase awareness, thus piercing the silence, of unwanted sexual experiences and help move college campuses toward a response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forensic Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • College students
  • Sexual perpetration
  • Sexual victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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