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Statistics and Prevention

Facts and Figures

  • One of five college females will experience some form of intimate partner violence during her college career. Researchers continue to find a disturbingly high rate of physical and sexual victimization of women by intimate or ex-intimate partners on college campuses, indicating that college campuses constitute at-risk communities for women.
  • Of surveyed college women, about 90 percent of sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault.*
  • In the United States, nearly 3 in 10 women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. Approximately 4.8 million women in the United States are victimized by intimate partners annually. In 2007 alone, such instances of intimate partner violence resulted in in 2,340 deaths (of which, 70 percent were females and 30 percent were males).
  • The most common form of violence experienced by women globally is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner, with women beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused. Worldwide, it is estimated that one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
  • In addition to the risk of death or physical injury, relationship violence can result in a multitude of physical, emotional, and behavioral consequences. These include emotional distress (such as flashbacks, panic attacks, and trouble sleeping), trouble trusting others in relationships, eating disorders, depression, and suicidal ideation. Victims of relationship violence may engage in unhealthy behaviors as well, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, and having risky sex.

*Fisher, B. S., Cullen, F. T., & Turner, M. G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice. Publication No. NCJ 182369

On-Campus Prevention Efforts

  • The Coalition on Sexual and Relationship Violence (COSARV): This includes educational programs, awareness initiatives, and prevention websites. COSARV is comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Student members are selected each year.
  • Consent Day: Daylong event to educate students about consent and sexual assault prevention
  • Annual Women’s Center events and programming, including Take Back the Night and a production of The Vagina Monologues.
  • Rape Aggression Defense: This women’s self-defense program teaches students, faculty, and staff how to defend themselves. For information about trainings at Bentley, contact Detective/Sergeant Jessica Roche at 781.891.2210.
  • Spot On Bystander Trainings: These interactive trainings increase student motivation and confidence in responding to behaviors that threaten a peer’s health, safety, or well-being.
  • First-year student programming including, HAVEN, an online educational tool; and dedicated First-Year Seminar (FYS) sessions. Students may apply to become FYS student facilitators.

Local and National Community Prevention Efforts

  • REACH: A Massachusetts organization providing shelter, mental health services, and information.
  • Jane Doe, Inc.: A statewide Massachusetts advocacy organization.
  • LoveisRespect.org: Online information and resources specifically for young adults.
  • BreaktheCycle.org: National advocacy organization.
  • AThinLine.org: Information about cyber/digital abuse and bullying (sponsored by MTV).