One in five female students encounter some form of unwanted sexual experience according to a new study.

Research published by Union of Students of Ireland aims to better understand the extent and nature of violence experienced by third-level students.

It was published with the support of Cosc, which is the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

Over 2,750 third-level students contributed to the research by participating in an online survey.

It found that 16% of all respondents experienced some form of unwanted sexual experience while at their current educational institution.

One in five women surveyed experienced an unwanted sexual experience, with 11% experiencing unwanted sexual contact.

Just 3% of respondents reported such an incident to gardaí, with many identifying perpetrators as acquaintances.

The report finds many students did not believe what had happened was a crime.

The survey found 22% of LGB students experienced physical violence compared to 14% of non-LGB students

The results of the "Say Something" survey are similar to those of the 2002 SAVI (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland) Report.

It found that one in five women experienced sexual assault as adults.

Both reports show that victims still do not report incidents because of feelings of shame and guilt.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) said it is worrying that outcomes over 11 years had changed little.

DRCC Chief Executive Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop said: "This was a ground-breaking study and while we need a second SAVI report to make appropriate comparisons to inform policy, studies like the "Say Something" research give us very valuable information about attitudes and beliefs to sexual violence among students."