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Senator McCaskill and A Distortion of Campus Sexual Assault Survey Data by

USA Today posted an article today called Colleges ignoring sexual assault, senator charges that contains an embedded video in which Senator McCaskill misleads the public in regard to the safety of women on college campuses. The Sexual Assault Violence on Campus report issued by Senator McCaskill's office confirms that college campuses are not hotbeds of sexual violence against women as feminist activists and the media like to portray. The report states that over 40% of the surveyed colleges reported that they had not investigated a case of sexual assault on their campus in the past 5 years.


Instead of celebrating this news, Senator McCaskill interprets this data as a "serious indictment" (see at 00:37) presumably against universites not doing their job correctly and finds it "troubling" that universities are not finding enough allegations to investigate. Yet a recent analysis of sexual assault on college campuses done by The Washington Post indicates that relatively few rapes are committed on college campuses.

The data table shows the number of alleged forcible sex offenses on campus reported to security authorities at colleges and universities or to law enforcement, as well as the rate of reporting per thousand students. Schools are required to send the data to the federal government under a law known as the Clery Act.

One has to question why Senator McCaskill would distort what the collected data purports. Could this be a veiled attempt to garner votes for the upcoming mid-year elections by appearing to get on tough on violence against women even as the data suggests that colleges are doing a credible job today of protecting college women and keeping their campuses safe?

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