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FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Texas Tech freshman Regan Elder helps drape a bed sheet with the message "No Means No" over the university's seal at the Lubbock, Texas campus to protest what students say is a "rape culture" on campus. A picture of a banner at a Sept. 20 Phi Delta Theta fraternity gathering, briefly posted online, read, "No Means Yes," followed by a graphic sexual remark. A study by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Windsor published on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 found that a program that taught college women ways to prevent sexual assault cut in half the chances they would be raped over the next year. It was the first large, scientific test of resistance training, and the strong results should spur more universities to offer it, experts say. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)

Just because 89% of colleges reported zero incidents of rape doesn't mean it doesn't exist

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A stunning number of U.S. colleges -- nearly 89 percent -- reported zero incidents of rape in 2015, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of data provided by schools to the U.S. Department of Education. But don't let that statistic fool you-- the key word being "reported." Just because a school had no rape reports doesn't mean that no rapes happened. 

A 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that nearly 80 percent of student victims don't report their rape or sexual assault to police based on data from 1995 to 2013, USA Today noted.

Other studies more likely depict a more accurate picture of sexual assault on college campuses. According to a 2011 survey by Fifth & Pacific and Knowledge Networks found that more than one in five students said they had experienced sexual abuse, accompanied with physical abuse and threats of physical violence.

The reasons why victims refrain from reporting instances of sexual assault are wide-ranging. Twelve percent of victims said they felt their assaults weren't important enough to report to police, the DOJ noted. Other reasons include fears of not being believed or even being shamed.

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