• Additional analyses examined sexual assault rates for those survey respondents who experienced non-consensual sexual touching (only) facilitated by the single tactic of “catching you off guard and unexpectedly doing something you didn’t want.” Those rates can be compared to rates for survey respondents who reported all other types of assaultive behaviors and tactics in the table below:


% who experienced non-consensual sexual touching by being caught off guard ONLY

% who experienced all other types of assaultive behaviors/tactics






Undergraduate women




Undergraduate men




Graduate women




Graduate men

< 1%



  • The most common forms of non-consensual sexual behaviors reported by female survey respondents were: intentionally touching your genitals or body parts in a sexual way, attempted vaginal penetration, and vaginal penetration.
  • The most common forms of non-consensual sexual behaviors reported by men were: intentionally touching your genitals or body parts in a sexual way, attempting to perform oral sex on you, and performing oral sex on you.
  • The most frequently used tactics were: ignoring your efforts to get them to stop and incapacitation; force as a tactic was used to facilitate approximately one-third of non-consensual sexual behaviors.
  • Locations where most sexual assaults occurred: “off-campus residence in Boulder” (45%), “off-campus location in Boulder” (15%), or, for undergraduates, in a CU Boulder residence hall (13%).
  • When asked about the relationship of the survey respondent and perpetrator, the most common relationships were: someone they didn’t know prior to the incident (38%), casual/non-romantic friend (24%), or acquaintance (20%).
  • Over the calendar year, 71% of sexual assaults happen in the fall semester, 20% in spring semester, 7% during summer, and 2% over winter break.
  • The majority of assaults happened to first-years, with a decline in rate from first to fourth+ year: First-years (67%), Second-years (20%), Third-years (9%), Fourth-years+ (4%).
  • Sexual assault rates for first-year students in the fall 2015 semester were: UG women (13%), UG men (3%), GR women (6%), and GR men (1.5%).
  • 61% of survey respondents who had been sexually assaulted told someone about the incident.  Among this group:
    • 93% reported confiding in a friend or roommate
    • 10% talked with the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA)
    • 8% made an official report to the university or to police
  • The primary reason that survey respondents didn’t officially report an incident of sexual misconduct was that they “did not think it was serious enough to report.” 

Action Item Highlights

  • Enhanced mandatory online course covering university policy on sexual misconduct and discrimination and harassment, affirmative consent, and campus resources for support and reporting.
  • Enhanced mandatory bystander intervention skills training for incoming students.
  • Residence Life campaign messaging, educational materials, and skill building on effective use of the buddy system.
  • Campus campaign (online, social media, and print materials) on bystander intervention skills to reinforce training on noticing and effective strategies (what to look for and recognizing high risk environments and skills for overcoming barriers to intervening).
  • Enhance new member education for all Greek chapters (first and second year members).
  • Correct misperceptions about the seriousness of sexual misconduct issues through educational campaigns (“Don’t Ignore It” and “Just Because”) and ongoing policy education.
  • Increase recognition of what constitutes sexual assault (“Just Because” campaign).
  • Improve awareness of resources for support and reporting options (“Don’t Ignore It” and “How to Help a Friend” campaigns).
  • For a complete list of campus programs and efforts, please see the full Action Plan.