New survey spotlights sexual harassment of Hawaii students

HONOLULU — About 9 percent of University of Hawaii students reported being sexually harassed on or off campus, according to a 2017 survey.

The survey released on Monday was given to students between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20 at all 10 of the university’s campuses.

It was the first survey at the university to ask students about their on-campus as well as off-campus experiences.

The survey found that 6 percent of students reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact on or off campus. But less than one-third of those students said their incident happened on campus.

Of the 9 percent of students who reported sexual harassment, 81 percent of them said the offender was a fellow student.

The survey also found that nearly one in five students who reported being in a partnered relationship while enrolled at the university said they had experienced intimate partner violence.

Officials said the survey was groundbreaking nationally for its scope and because it included intimate partner violence.

“This survey is the latest step we have taken to further our commitment to ensure safe and respectful campus environments,” UH President David Lassner said in a statement. “Together with the findings, student feedback will help UH determine where to dedicate our resources and efforts moving forward.”

The survey’s response rate was 14 percent of the university system’s adult students, with 6,311 undergraduate and graduate students taking part.

“We aren’t surprised by prevalence and incidence rates of domestic violence in the UH survey,” said Nanci Kreidman, chief executive officer of the Domestic Violence Action Center. “They reflect a larger societal problem. These numbers track the community and global statistics and UH doesn’t exist in a vacuum.”


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