Sexual violence on college campuses is becoming more prevalent, it seems, but most young women are keeping silent about the attacks. According to a survey conducted at the Massacusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, one in six undergraduate students has fallen victim, but only five percent report them.

The survey also revealed that one in five of the women who have been victims of sexual assault knew their attackers.

The MIT is one of the few schools to conduct such an in-depth survey about sexual assault occurring among their students and even one of the rarer schools still that have actually published the results.

According to the MIT, they emailed 11,000 of their graduate and undergraduate students to participate in the survey and had a 35 percent response rate.

In addition to the women, the survey revealed that six percent of men who took part in the survey have been sexually harassed in some way, and two percent have been raped.

The survey is one of the most comprehensive ever conducted at a college campus. It was sent out to the students just two days before the White House cautioned that sex crimes are becoming an alarming "epidemic" in the United States; that the issues should be discussed among college students and educators.

University president L. Rafael Reif attached a memo to the survey results released on Oct. 27.

"I am disturbed by the extent and nature of the problem reflected in the survey results. Sexual assault violates our core MIT values. It has no place here. I am confident that, with this shared understanding and armed with this new data, the MIT community will find a path to significant positive change," he said in the college-wide email.

Safety experts are commending the university for conducting the detailed survey, saying that it is an important step toward tackling real solutions to the problem.

They hope that the revelations will help better understand the scope of the problem and how deeply it has become part of campus culture.

Other prominent universities, such as Harvard, the University of Virginia, Dartmouth colleges and Yale are said to also be conducting their own surveys.

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