27 Apr 2016

High rates of sexual assault in American Samoa

9:10 am on 27 April 2016

A study has revealed a quarter of students surveyed at an American Samoan college say they have experienced some kind of sexual assault.

no caption

Photo: 123 RF

About 140 students at the American Samoa Community College were surveyed.

Of the students that reported experiencing sexual assault, nearly half said they kept it to themselves because they were afraid or because they did not know who they could tell.

Mona Uli of the Alliance for Strengthening Families said the results showed there was a need for more education on the topic of sexual violence.

Members of the Psychology Club at the Community College conducted the survey on campus.

Twenty five percent of the respondents said they had experienced sexual assault of some form, either rape, attempted rape, molestation or incest.

Of the students that reported experiencing sexual assault, 46 percent said they kept it to themselves.

Only 34 percent of students surveyed said they felt they could talk to their parents, while 17 percent said they preferred to talk to siblings, friends or teachers.

Many were reluctant to go to clergy, village leaders or sports coaches.

Sixty two percent of the ASCC students surveyed said sex education was not offered at their grade school.

Just over half agreed that it was important to offer sex education in grade school because it helped students to make more informed decisions when they were older.

Thirty six percent felt the victim was partly to blame because of where they were at the time, what they were wearing, or whether or not they were intoxicated.