Sexual Harassment, Assault and Relationship Experiences (SHARE) Survey

In 2018, Northern Illinois University (NIU) conducted a survey of all enrolled students to examine stalking, dating violence, and sexual violence on campus. This survey was a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in 2016 called the Campus Experiences Survey. The SHARE survey will be conducted every two years.

Methodology

  • The questionnaire used was similar to the one administered in 2016.
  • The survey began on March 26, 2018 and closed on May 9, 2018.
  • An open link to the survey was made available to all NIU undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Announcements about the survey were sent to students via email.
  • Reminder emails were sent on a weekly basis.
  • Tables promoting the survey were held at different locations throughout campus weekly.
  • Survey responses were anonymous.
  • Students were offered the opportunity to enter a drawing for fifty $50 Huskie Bucks prizes. Students contact information was collected via a separate link at the end of the survey to ensure confidentiality.

Overview of Survey Respondents

  • 1,505 students initiated the survey and 911 (58.1 percent of initiators) completed the entire survey. The number of students who completed the survey noticeable improved from 2016 when 565 students (40.6 percent of initiators) completed the entire survey.
  • We received about one-half of the responses needed to generate reliable prevalence estimates.
  • Distribution of students by year of school was better than that obtained in 2016.
  • The respondents were not representative of the NIU's student population on several demographic characteristics. Males, graduate students, and students at satellite campuses were underrepresented.

What We Learned

  • Overall, many students believed that NIU would respond to reports of victimization in a supportive manner
  • Percentage of students that indicate NIU would take action to address factors that may have led to sexual misconduct increased from 58.5 percent in 2016 to 67.8 percent in 2018.
  • Victims of sexual misconduct (stalking, dating violence, sexual violence) are most likely to be women or from the LGBQ community
  • Students who chose to tell someone tell a close friend (not a roommate)
  • The methodology used for future surveys needs to be revised.
  • Response to the survey increased from 2016, but not enough to get reliable prevalence rates.
  • Need to increase the response from men and students from underserved communities.
  • Need to include more inclusive language to ensure trans spectrum students are represented.

Response to the SHARE Survey Findings

  • Continue to provide campus education and resources regarding sexual misconduct (stalking, dating violence, sexual violence)
  • Ensure we provide resources and support for women and LGBTQ+ students
  • More closely focus education and resources on students to ensure they can provide support to close friends
  • Utilize the Violence Prevention Grant to provide the necessary resources, educational programs and support for underserved and marginalized communities
  • In spring 2019, engage NIU stakeholders who interface with students and student policies in campus workshops facilitated by Howard Brown Health (HBH) staff. HBH uses an LGBTQ+ victim-centered approach that will provide a more inclusive focus and also benefits non-LGBTQ+ victims
  • The Student Conduct Advisory Board completed a comprehensive review of Student Conduct policies in November 2018. They provided recommended strategies to: foster healthy and safe behavior; engage our community in positive change (with special attention to student organizations); and develop a set of alternative sanctions based in the practices of restorative justice.
  • Provide education, policies and procedures to enhance victims perception of NIU's supportive response to reported incidents of sexual misconduct

Recommendations for Future SHARE Surveys

  • Capture larger response rates from: men, students of color, non-DeKalb campuses, Greek community, all students
  • Provide separate categories for Transgender and non-conforming identities from LGBQ participants
  • Reduce the length of the survey to a 15-20 minute survey
  • Offer incentives (Huskie Buck cards) throughout the survey on a weekly basis
  • Initiate survey in early March and close at the end of April

2018 Survey Results Summary

Information About Sexual Misconduct Received From NIU
  • The majority (84.6 percent) of students report they have received at least one type of written or verbal information about sexual misconduct from NIU.
  • Significant increases are seen since 2016 in the percentage of students who indicate they have received information from NIU.
Information Received from NIU by Students
2018 2016
Title protections against sexual misconduct 86.6% 30.9%
How to report an incident of sexual misconduct 54.7% 30.9%
Where to go to get help is someone they know experiences sexual misconduct 52.3% 40.6%

Prevalence of victimization at NIU has not changed significantly since 2016.

2018 2016
Stalking 29.3% 30.3%
Dating violence 18% 19.6%
Sexual violence 24.1% 25%

Women students are more likely to have experienced victimization.

Women Men
Stalking 34.3% 16.2%
Dating violence 21.9% 7.4%
Sexual violence 29.7% 10.8%

LGBQ students are more likely to have experienced victimization.

LGBQ Students Heterosexual Students
Stalking 41.8% 26.5%
Dating 28% 15.9%
Sexual 32.7% 22.2%

 

Most students did not tell an NIU representative about the incident. There has been no statistically significant change in the percentages for dating violence and sexual violence victims who told an NIU representative since 2016.

  • Three percent of stalking victims told an NIU representative, a 12.4 percent increase from 2016.
  • In 2018, 18.7 percent of dating violence victims told an NIU representative and in 2016 13.1 percent of dating violence victims told an NIU representative.
  • In 2018, 14.2 percent of sexual violence victims told an NIU representative and in 2016 seven percent of sexual violence victims told an NIU representative.

Prevalence of victimization at NIU is 38 percent (adjusted to NIU population by gender) or about 6,856 students affected. This percentage is comparable to the 42.9 percent obtained in 2016.

  • Victims are more likely to report fair or poor health and less likely to indicate they feel safe on campus. They would recommend NIU to others and would select NIU again if they had a chance to choose again.
    • I would rate my health overall as fair or poor (22.8 percent, victims; 15.2 percent non-victims).
    • I feel safe on campus at NIU (45.1 percent victims agree; 60.5 percent non-victims agree).
    • I would recommend NIU to others (67.4 percent victims agree; 77.1 percent non-victims agree).
    • If I had to do it again, I would still attend NIU (61.3 percent victims agree; 72.3 percent non-victims agree).
  • Victims are more academically disengaged.
    • Victims (51.5 percent) are more likely than non-victims (36.9 percent) to have missed class.
    • Victims (40.4 percent) are more likely than non-victims (29.7 percent) to have been late for class.
    • Victims (21.4 percent) are more likely than non-victims (9.4 percent) to have made excuses to get out of class.
    • Victims (29.7 percent) are more likely than non-victims (22.4 percent) to have done poor work.
    • Victims (24.7 percent) are more likely than non-victims (15.5 percent) to have thought about dropping a class.
    • Victims (25.7 percent) are more likely than non-victims (13 percent) to have thought about quitting school.
  • Overall, the majority of students believed that NIU would respond to reports of victimization in a supportive manner.
  • The percentage of students that indicate NIU would respond to reports of victimization in a supportive manner increased significantly from 2016.
    • NIU would take the report seriously (78.1 percent agree, 2018; 73.4 percent agree, 2016)
    • NIU would maintain the privacy of the person making the report (82.2 percent agree, 2018; 78.8 percent agree, 2016)
    • NIU would take steps to protect the safety of the person making the report (76.5 percent agree, 2018; 69.8% agree, 2016)
    • NIU would support the person making the report (76.4 percent agree, 2018; 70.5 percent agree, 2016)
    • NIU would take action to address the factors that may have led to the sexual misconduct (69.7 percent agree, 2018; 58.9 percent agree, 2016)
    • NIU would handle the report fairly (71.0 percent, 2018; 64.0 percent, 2016)
  • Victims were less likely to perceive that they would receive a supportive response from the university if someone made a report.
    • Victims (70.7 percent) are less likely than non-victims (83.6 percent) to agree that NIU would take the report seriously
    • Victims (77.3 percent) are less likely than non-victims (86 percent) to agree that NIU would maintain the privacy of the person making the report
    • Victims (68 percent) are less likely than non-victims (83.1 percent) to agree that NIU would take steps to protect the safety of the person making the report
    • Victims (70.5 percent) are less likely than non-victims (80.9 percent) to agree that NIU would support the person making the report
    • Victims (62.8 percent) are less likely than non-victims (75 percent) to agree that NIU would take action to address the factors that may have led to the sexual misconduct.
    • Victims (64.4 percent) are less likely than non-victims (76.1 percent) to agree that NIU would handle the report fairly