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UT System sex assault survey "not surprising" to Rape Crisis Center

6 percent of UTSA students say they've been raped

SAN ANTONIO – A survey conducted by the University of Texas System found six percent of University of Texas at San Antonio students said they have been raped.

"The reality and unfortunate part of that is that, no, it’s not surprising,” said Miriam Elizondo, executive director of The Rape Crisis Center.

While the statistic was no shock to Elizondo’s organization, it may be to some in the community.

That’s key, she said.

“We're just very encouraged that this report has come out and there's voice being given to the trauma that's happening on campus so we can make a change,” Elizondo said.

The UT System released the findings of its survey Friday.

Thirteen of the system’s 14 institutions were surveyed in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.

The survey focused on three areas: students' experiences related to sexual assault and misconduct on and off campus, perceptions of their school's responses to these issues, and the impact of these forms of violence, such as missed classes, depression and increased use of drugs or alcohol.

The study found most of the assaults happened off campus.

Elizondo says a separate study from 2015 revealed only 9 percent of people sexually assaulted across the state of Texas report it.

"We need to find out why those 9.2 percent are reporting and try to replicate the services that they’ve received so that more and more people can report and we can find justice,” said Elizondo.

One of the main reasons survivors fail to make an outcry, she adds, is fear of not being believed.

"Inequality, power and control, sexism. Those things are breeding violence of all sorts,” Elizondo said. “We're not going to stop sexual violence until we start addressing some of the oppression that's happening.”

The Rape Crisis Center provides support and services to sexual assault survivors -- whether the crime has been reported to police, or not. People can call the center’s hotline at 210-349-7273.

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