A Public Health Approach to Campus Sexual Assault Prevention
Monday, November 2, 2015: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Sexual assault on college campuses is a major public health problem, with one in five women being a victim of sexual assault while attending college. College-aged women are four times more likely than any other age group to face sexual assault. Now that sexual violence is widely recognized as a preventable public health issue, colleges and universities are looking for new ways to prevent incidents of sexual assault on their campuses. This session examines past research conducted on sexual violence prevention strategies that have been implemented on college campuses across the United States. A number of elements commonly incorporated into prevention programs are identified and discussed, including extensive survivor support, promotion of healthy relationships, encouraging social change, and fostering a community that holds perpetrators accountable and is committed to preventing sexual violence on its campus. Another key component of prevention is promoting healthy behaviors through consent education, alcohol education, and providing bystander intervention training to students and faculty. This session also addresses many of the challenges that schools often face in the process of prevention and highlights the successes that some campuses have already experienced with their comprehensive prevention programs. One major challenge is that colleges and universities are part of a broader social context and influenced by the surrounding culture, indicating that the prevention of sexual violence on campuses must involve long-term changes in social norms and society-level attitudes towards sexual violence. By promoting gender equity and working to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence, colleges and universities are instrumental in preventing sexual assault on their campuses and beyond.
Session Objectives: Describe campus sexual assault as a public health problem that can be addressed through primary prevention.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: APHA
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)