Officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plan to crack down on sexual assaults occurring on campus after a survey found that as many as one in six undergraduate women - or about 17 percent of female students - claim to have been assaulted while enrolled at MIT.
“I am disturbed by the extent and nature of the problem reflected in the survey results,” University President L. Rafael Reif wrote in a statement Monday. “As a community, we depend on mutual respect and trust. Sexual assault violates our core MIT values. It has no place here. I am confident that, with this shared understanding and armed with this new data, the MIT community will find a path to significant positive change.”
The Institute-wide steps include:
-Increasing staffing to respond to those who experience sexual assault
-Finding new ways to let students know where to turn for help
-Removing barriers to reporting and addressing complaints by revamping procedures and processes
-Launching a Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Task Force
-Increasing education for students, especially through peer-to-peer programs, on bystander intervention and on the connection between alcohol, drugs, and unwanted sexual behavior.
MIT is one of the first colleges around the country to attempt to put a precise estimate on the prevalence of sexual violence on its campus, according to The Boston Globe
Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education ordered a review
of how colleges across the state are responding to increased reports of sexual violence.