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Survey: Many University Sex Assaults Not Investigated

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A frightening new survey shows sexual assaults are not being investigated at many universities across the country. The study—commissioned by Congress—comes as the federal government ramps up oversight of campus cases.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the serious questions the survey is raising.

According to that survey, more than 70% of schools have no protocols for working with local law enforcement on sexual violence cases. One in five don’t provide any training for faculty or staff.

Sexual assault is a crime that often goes unpunished on college campuses.

“He put his hand over my mouth and he told me not to say anything and then he dragged me down to the floor and then he raped me,” said Cassie Edwards, who was attacked on her college campus in 2008.

The CDC estimates one in five college women is attacked but a new survey of more than 300 schools reveals more than 40% have not conducted a single sex assault investigation in the past five years.

“If they’re saying they have not had any investigations, that means they are in denial, they are incompetent or they aren’t taking these problems seriously,” said Senator Claire McCaskill.

Fifty-five universities—including Morgan State—are now under federal investigation for their handling of sexual assault investigations.

“I feel like the school I attend should not be on the list,” said a Morgan student.

Students at Johns Hopkins filed a federal complaint after they say the school failed to notify them about a reported gang rape at a fraternity house.

“They feel that the universities are often looking out for the universities,” said Gail Reid, Director of Victim Advocacy at TurnAround.

She says there needs to be more guidance on what is an appropriate response to a campus assault.

“People don’t know how to conduct an investigation. People don’t know what the response should look like. People are all doing things differently around the confidentiality and privacy of the victim,” Reid said.

She hopes this survey sheds more light on the growing problem.

The White House has formed a task force to protect students from sexual assault.

The schools were surveyed anonymously so it’s unknown if any of our local colleges participated.

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