A closer look at college victimization

Beyond Clery Act statistics: A closer look at college victimization based on self-report data

From Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Many have recognized that crime on college campuses across the Unite States is a significant issue in need of attention. The Clery Act was an important step in helping generate public awareness regarding college victimization. However, more research is needed to begin to understand the impact of the Clery Act. Research demonstrates that experience with victimization can have pernicious, lifelong implications for college students. This study examined the relationships among victimization, demographic characteristics, and activity choices in a cross-sectional sample of 479 undergraduate students. Various types of college campus victimization have been explored, including stalking, rape, and other types of unwanted sexual behavior.


This study examined the relationships among victimization, demographic characteristics, and activity choices in a cross-sectional sample of 479 undergraduate students. In the sample, 74% was female and 65% was Caucasian, with an even distribution of ages ranging from 18 to 22+ years; all participants completed an online survey. Using survey feedback, the study team performed multivariate regression analysis and reported quantity and type of victimization experiences in relation to factors that may contribute to identifying groups at risk for experiencing violence. Findings suggest that gender, grade point average, and membership in student organizations or Greek-letter organizations influence students’ potential for different types of victimization. Furthermore, alcohol use and household income did not have a statistically significant relationship with any victimization types. Finally, rates reported indicate student underreporting and illustrate difficulty implementing the Clery Act. Policy recommendations, future research, and limitations are discussed. With accurate victimization data, resources and services may be more efficiently allocated to meet the needs of students at greater risk for victimization.

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Article details
Joseph H. Gardella,  Corey A. Nichols-Hadeed, Jeanna M. Mastrocinque, Jennifer T. Stone, Cynthia A. Coates, Christopher J. Sly, and Catherine Cerulli
Beyond Clery Act Statistics: A Closer Look at College Victimization Based on Self-Report Data J Interpers Violence 0886260514535257, first published on June 12, 2014 doi:10.1177/0886260514535257






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