Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 6 requires postsecondary institutions to annually report statistics on sexual assault to the Office of Higher Education (OHE). The following data is provided by each postsecondary institution; OHE calculates state totals based on that data.
Postsecondary institutions are required to submit sexual assault data if they:
OHE adheres to current federal and state data privacy laws and best practices to protect the privacy of individual students. Reports and data required by Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 6 are prepared and published as summary data, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 19, and are consistent with federal and state laws governing access to educational data and student privacy.
OHE's policy for complying with federal and state laws governing access to student records is to suppress student data in cells containing fewer than 10 students. In the data reports that follow, when "<10" is displayed the data for that cell is suppressed to protect student identity in compliance with federal and state privacy laws. Additionally, if only one cell in a column is suppressed, the cell with the second lowest count will also be suppressed to prevent identification.
The definition of sexual assault for the purpose of this report was amended by the 2017 legislature.1 The definition of sexual assault in Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 1(a) is now "rape, sex offenses - fondling, sex offenses - incest, or sex offenses - statutory rape as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 34, part 668, subpart D, appendix A, as amended." Following are the definitions of those terms:
"Rape – The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim...
Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
A. Fondling – The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
B. Incest – Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
C. Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent."2
Please note incest is now included in the definition of sexual assault for purposes of institutions' data submission to OHE. Only incidents of sexual assault according to the above definitions of rape and sex offenses should be included in institutions' data submission to OHE.
For more information on the definition of sexual assault, please refer to the Sexual Assault Data Reporting Manual.
The report below includes the number of incidents of sexual assault reported to the institution in the previous calendar year in which:
The data provided by the Sexual Assault Data Report differs from the data postsecondary institutions provide in their annual Clery reports required by federal law.3 The sexual assault data provided here for Minnesota postsecondary institutions has a different scope of incidents and different categories than the institutions' Clery reports. Additionally, the data below includes reports to institutions that occurred prior to Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 6 becoming law, so this data may be incomplete which impacts the reliability of the data.
It is also important to note that the data presented in this report only includes incidents that were reported to a postsecondary institution. Research on sexual assault indicates that the actual number of instances of sexual assault is likely higher than what is reported by victims to postsecondary institutions.
Additionally, some data in the report below may be duplicated across postsecondary institutions. For example, a single incident may be included in the report for two institutions in the instance where the victim and respondent attend different institutions and there is a report and/or response by both institutions.
Beyond sexual assault data reporting, Minn. Stat. § 135A.15 also requires institutions to implement sexual violence policies, provide training for students and staff, provide access to an online reporting system, and requires cooperation between institutions and local law enforcement. So the potential impacts of the legislation beyond data include increasing awareness of sexual violence at colleges, focusing attention on sexual violence prevention efforts and related campus climate issues, and forming effective institutional response.
For additional context on the sexual assault data provided, please see the detailed category descriptions below. The bullets detail reasons that an incident would be reported in some but not all categories.
Important Note: Category 11 (Victim Did Not Participate Pre-Disciplinary Process) was added as a reporting field to the 2017 version of the report (it was not included in 2016). Because there was not an appropriate category in 2016 to report the number of incidents reported by victims or other parties (e.g., staff member, faculty, witness, friend, etc.), but where the victim chose not to participate in the institution's investigation or disciplinary process, some institutions reported these instances in category 10 – inflating the count in that category. Most institutions, however, did not report these instances as part of the 2016 data collection because an appropriate category did not exist.
These data represent incidents of sexual assault reported to a postsecondary institution in Minnesota between January 1 and December 31 of each calendar year.
Victims of sexual violence can connect with an advocate, access emergency resources, or find additional support through RapeHelpMN.org.