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The majority of University of Hawaiʻi students feel safe from sexual harassment and gender based violence when on campus, according to the 2023 Student Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Harassment and Gender Violence. The biennial survey of UH’s 10 campuses also found that dating or domestic violence is still the most common form of harassment/violence and that awareness of on-campus services and resources has increased dramatically since the first survey seven years ago.

Of 38,286 adult students attending UH campuses, 14.1% (5,398 students) completed the 20-minute long survey in early 2023 on campus environment, prevalence of sexual assault and violence, campus response and awareness of resources and reporting options.

The individual outcomes from each of the 10 campuses are available in the final survey results. In the aggregate, more than 63.4% of UH students feel safe when on campus, up from 57.5% from the first survey in 2017, considered the benchmark survey of the four surveys completed. The 2023 survey found 57% of students were aware of services and resources, a substantial increase from 40% in 2017. Furthermore, 57.8% of students rated the training UH offered “extremely or very useful” compared to 50.7% in 2017.

“We have work ahead on our paths to create campus environments free of harassment and violence so our students can fully focus on their education,” said UH President David Lassner. “We will continue to build on what we have accomplished in the last 10 years including the expansion of services like confidential resources, and greater awareness of those services. I am especially heartened that the 2023 survey shows that our students have greater trust in UH today compared to our first survey seven years ago.”

Survey results

Reports of sexual harassment and gender based violence are down slightly in 2023 compared to the 2019 and 2017 surveys (the 2021 survey results were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as the vast majority of courses were offered online, and most employees were teleworking). Students are asked about their experiences while enrolled, including incidents unrelated to their campus. According to the 2023 survey:

  • Three of four specific areas edged down or held steady:
    • 10.2% of students reported dating or domestic violence (9.1% in 2021, 12.1% in 2019, 10.6% in 2017).
    • 5.5% reported stalking (3.6% in 2021, 6.1% in 2019, 6.0% in 2017).
    • 2.8% reported incidents of non-consensual sexual contact (1.3% in 2021, 2.9% in 2019, 2.8% in 2017).
  • 7.8% reported sexual harassment (4.2% in 2021, 8.0% in 2019, 5.7% in 2017). The federal government expanded the examples of sexual harassment, which have been included in the UH biennial surveys since 2019.
  • Offenders associated with UH decreased since 2017 (79.8% in 2023, 71.8% in 2021, 80.5% in 2019, 88.2% in 2017).

“The survey results provide important next steps for our campuses including targeted outreach to vulnerable populations and raising awareness and referrals to campus resources to better address dating and domestic violence,” said UH Office of Equity Assurance Director Jenn Rose. “Hopefully, these survey results also shine a bright light on issues prevalent across our society, not just college campuses. Greater awareness is critical addressing sexual harassment and gender base violence.”

Climate surveys are a national best practice and an important tool in creating and maintaining a safe and discrimination-free learning and working environment.The biennial survey was identified as a priority by UH in 2015 and mandated by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2016 with the passage of Act 208. It has been administered every other year since 2017 with the first results released in 2018.

2018—Groundbreaking student survey on sexual harassment and gender-based violence
2020—Results of student survey on sexual harassment, violence
2022—Students feel safer on UH campuses, according to student survey

The survey is the responsibility of the UH Office of Equity Assurance (OEA), whose duties include oversight of compliance with Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act federal laws and for UH Mānoa and the 10-campus UH System. The survey was conducted by OmniTrak Group, Inc.

Student resources

There are several options available to students who may be victims of gender-based harassment or violence depending on the type of assistance needed.

On Campus

Off Campus

For individuals experiencing food insecurity:

For individuals with varying needs, including housing insecurity, child and family support, mental health and substance abuse:

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