(WBIR) A new survey offers a revealing look at sexual assaults on campus and how colleges and universities have a lot of room to improve.
A congressional subcommittee led the survey, commissioned by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., of more than 200 schools. The survey showed many schools go years without investigating reported sexual assault cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five women have been the victim of a sexual attack while in college.
According to Ashley Blamey, director of the University of Tennessee's Center for Health Education & Wellness, as far as she knows, UT was not included in the survey.
One of the center's focuses is on sexual assault prevention and education.
"I think when I looked at the study I was surprised at the number of schools who the study says are not coordinated in their efforts. I think that's something the University of Tennessee does an exceptional job at," Blamey said.
The survey mentions that nearly three out of four schools do not have a plan for how the campus can work with local law enforcement.
Blamey said UT has a sexual assault response team. But it is up to the survivor whether he or she wants to pursue criminal charges.
"It's interesting because a lot of people on a national level don't recognize that there are sort of two tiers, two options: one is the criminal process, one is the campus, judicial or conduct process, and the other is just to receive services and not to pursue that process on either avenue," she said.
Reported sex offenses on UT's campus for 2013 differ between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the UT Police Department but range between 3-8. UT's reported cases do not include sexual assaults that happen off campus.
In April, TBI found that while campus crime dropped statewide by 11.6% in 2013, sex offenses jumped 25% in one year.
"We do know that sexual assaults are under reported. While it may seem like they're going up, it may be that people are reporting those crimes a little bit more and we've done a better job of reporting that as well," Sgt. UTPD Cedric Roach said.
41% of the surveyed colleges and universities have not conducted investigations into alleged assaults within the past five years, even though some had reported incidents.
"Any time that a sexual assault is brought to our attention, we investigate it," Sgt. Roach said.
Lawmakers are working on legislation to help improve how schools deal with sexual violence and expect to introduce a bipartisan bill this summer.