According to recent research, more than 40 percent of female rape victims have been assaulted before the age of 18. In the state of Connecticut in the year 2013 alone, roughly 1 in 5 of the male offenders arrested for rape were arrested at age 19 or younger.
In a new report titled “Sexual Violence with K-12 Students in Connecticut: Prevalence, Prevention, and Future Directions,” co-authors Jonathan Plucker ’91 (CLAS), ’92 MA – a Neag School alumnus and former faculty member – and current Neag School student Grace Healey share these and other recent research findings regarding the prevalence of sexual violence, with a focus on young people at both the national and state level. The brief also specifically outlines steps that the state of Connecticut is taking in response.
“Across the nation, efforts at prevention and increasing quality of services for victims have been focused largely at the college level. There is no question that institutions of higher education have to improve both prevention and victim services, but the available data make a strong case that sexual violence is not a college-only problem.”
Policymakers, the researchers state, have sought over recent decades to reduce sexual violence by relying on a criminal justice approach, in which sexually violent acts are dealt with after they occur. Plucker and Healey discuss the implementation, over the past decade, of a “primary prevention model,” which instead seeks to prevent sexual violence. The findings, they state, “suggest that prevention of sexual violence should start at least in early adolescence.”
According to the researchers, the brief’s intention is “not only to inform readers of the prevalence of sexual violence, but also to discuss sexual violence as a multifaceted and complex public health issue, one in which public policy alone will have limited effectiveness.”