Honors Program


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Isaacsen, Shaina. "Investigating Transparency Policy as a Means of Increasing Sexual Violence Reporting Numbers at Universities." Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2023


Copyright Shaina Isaacsen 2023.


It is well known that sexual violence occurs on college campuses at alarming rates. Despite this, sexual violence remains grossly underreported to universities. In a study investigating why survivors choose to not report sexual violence, only half believed that a university would investigate an assault fairly (Ridolfi-Starr, 2015). This project focuses on investigations of sexual violence conducted by universities, and whether certain adjudication processes can increase overall reporting numbers. Specifically, I focus on different forms of transparency within the sexual violence policy, third-party oversight and outcome publication. By using information collected from Annual Security Reports (ASRs) published by universities, I code for the presence of these transparency policies, and compare them to sexual assaults reported to each school in a given year for fifty universities. While collecting data from May 2022 to August 2022, I found that thirteen universities did not have their ASRs published online at that point in time, almost a year and a half past the studied year, 2020. In the schools whose information was available, I found that no school chose to publish outcome reports in relation to sexual assault cases. Additionally, no significant correlation was found between third party oversight and reporting numbers.