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of women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since starting college.

Methodological differences, such as the method of survey administration, the definition of rape or sexual assault used, the wording of questions, and the time period studied contribute to these disparities.

Researchers, such as Bonnie Fisher and Mary Koss, have charged that the question wording, context, and sampling methodology used on the NCVS leads a systematic underestimate of the incidence of rape and sexual assault.

A recent assessment of the NCVS methodology conducted by the National Research Council pointed to four flaws in the NCSV approach: the use of a sampling methodology that was inefficient in measuring low-incidence events like rape and sexual assault; the ambiguous wording questions related to sexual violence; the criminal justice definitions of assault; and the lack of privacy offered to survey respondents (phone interview vs. The authors concluded that these flaws make it "highly likely that the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is underestimating rape and sexual assault." In 2007 the National Institute of Justice funded the Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) survey, a web-based survey of 6,800 undergraduates at two large universities using multiple explicitly worded questions about sexual victimization.

Several universities conducted independent sexual assault studies rather than participating in the AAU surveys.

The study's authors also found that the majority of women were assaulted while incapacitated, that perpetrators were usually friends or acquaintances rather than strangers and that Freshmen and Sophomores were at a higher risk for sexual assault than Juniors and Seniors.

Women of color, women who are raped by an acquaintance or family members, and women who were using drugs or alcohol when they were assaulted are generally less likely to report the crime to police.

As a result of non-reporting, sources that rely on police records or official crime reports, such as the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, may underestimate the number of rapes and sexual assaults in a given year.

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is a national survey administered twice year by the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

The purpose of the NCVS is to offer a uniform report of the incidence of crime including rape and sexual assault victimizations in the general population. Their findings indicated that rape, a subset of all sexual assault, had an incidence of 1.4 per 1,000 female students (0.1%) in 2013 during the period studied.

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