UC Berkeley releases sexual harassment and violence survey results

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Updated 9/26/18: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from Sharon Inkelas, special faculty adviser to the chancellor on sexual violence and sexual harassment.

UC Berkeley released the results of the My Voice survey — a comprehensive sexual harassment and violence survey — to campus staff, students and faculty Wednesday morning about 10 a.m.

Nearly 15,000 members of the campus community took part in the survey, according to a campuswide message sent by Sharon Inkelas, special faculty adviser to the chancellor on sexual violence and sexual harassment. The survey launched in January of this year and closed in March.

Among the report’s key findings is that people belonging to a marginalized group — including queer and transgender people of color as well as those living with a disability — experience “disproportionately high impacts” of sexual violence and harassment, according to Inkelas’ message. Inkelas said she wasn’t surprised by the survey’s results, but that they allow the campus to help specific communities that are affected the most.

“We suspected that people in marginalized communities were more likely to experience harm,” Inkelas said. “But our survey was turning these general concepts that we were familiar with going in into real actionable results, and that makes all the difference.”

The report also found that sexual harassment occurs most frequently between peer groups, but that the second most common pattern is between a supervisor and those under their supervision. Inkelas added that they were able to find “cross-group pockets of harm” because they surveyed all members of the campus community, whereas comparable surveys typically only receive responses from undergraduate students.

The campuswide message highlighted several proposed actions to address the issue, including creating brochures with campus resources and a campaign tailored to specific campus communities encouraging healthy social norms. Inkelas said she hopes members of the campus community will give feedback on the proposals through a Google form available on the My Voice website.

“We’re not actually done because the action steps that we’ve proposed are just that — a proposal,” Inkelas said. “We’re looking forward to running the survey again.”

Check back for updates.

Anjali Shrivastava is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anjalii_shrivas.