College women's experiences with physically forced, alcohol- or other drug-enabled, and drug-facilitated sexual assault before and since entering college

J Am Coll Health. 2009 May-Jun;57(6):639-47. doi: 10.3200/JACH.57.6.639-649.


Objective: Research has shown associations between college women's alcohol and/or drug consumption and the risk of sexual assault, but few studies have measured the various means by which sexual assault is achieved.

Participants: The authors' Campus Sexual Assault Study obtained self-report data from a random sample of undergraduate women (N = 5,446).

Methods: The authors collected data on sexual assault victimization by using a cross-sectional, Web-based survey, and they conducted analyses assessing the role of substance use. The authors also compared victimizations before and during college, and across years of study.

Results: Findings indicate that almost 20% of undergraduate women experienced some type of completed sexual assault since entering college. Most sexual assaults occurred after women voluntarily consumed alcohol, whereas few occurred after women had been given a drug without their knowledge or consent.

Conclusions: The authors discuss implications for campus sexual assault prevention programs, including the need for integrated substance use and sexual victimization prevention programming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Universities*