Online Program

Utilization of Sexual Violence Resources on College Campuses Impacted by Religious Cultural Barriers

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Nicole Roberts, BS, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT
Maxwell Poth, BS, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT
John Contreras, PhD, Department of Public Health, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT
Sexual victimization and violence on college campuses is highly prevalent in the U.S.  Prior studies assessed the incidence of students who have been sexually victimized on campuses. In a national survey that sampled over 3,000 women, 54% indicated an experience with some form of sexual victimization, 12% reported an attempted rape, and 15% reported a completed rape (Koss et al, 1987). Other studies evaluated students awareness of on and off campus resources and found little success due to bias results and further questioning  However, very limited studies have focused on religious cultural barriers impacting the way victims of sexual abuse utilize their resources if they choose to report. The purpose of the present study was two fold: 1) to assess the utilization of sexual violence resources on and off campus at two colleges in Utah 2) to evaluate the impact of religious cultural barriers on such utilization. The data were collected using an online, self-administered survey tool. The authors surveyed a total of 298 undergraduate students from two academic intuitions in Utah. The results showed some statistical significance on the Westminster campus with victims and their comfortability with allowing members from their religion know about their victimization as compared to Utah Valley University’s sexual victimization victims (p = <0.05).  Statistical significance was also found in religious convictions being a barrier to seeking help between Westminster and Utah Valley University participants (p = <0.05). Future studies should be conducted to determine a higher correlation between religion and utilizing sexual victimization resources.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers that prevent victims of sexual victimization from seeking help. Assess the role that religion plays in a victim's healing process. Demonstrate the prevalence of sexual victimization on college campuses.

Keyword(s): College Students, Sexual Assault

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the co-investigators that developed and implemented the study researching the impact of religious cultural barriers on the utilization of sexual victimization resources among college students of Utah. I have recently graduated from Westminster College with honors (Magna Cum Laude) in December 2014 with a Bachelor's of Science in Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.