Let's Talk About Sex...ual Assault: Community Assessment of Carroll College Student Awareness of Sexual Assault on Campus
Sexual assault continuously impacts college campuses and students nationwide. A cumulative risk assessment encompassing four years of college suggests over one in three women will experience sexual assault by senior year.1 In addition, up to 7% of men on college campuses experience sexual assault.1 College students face multiple barriers to reporting, suggesting that one of the hardest parts about coming forward and seeking help is the shame that could come with it. Ten of the fourteen participants in one study were worried about the shame that would result from reporting. They also feared what people would think of them.2 Carroll College has been awarded a grant to improve sexual assault prevention and response on campus.
The students in Public Health Practice and Theories class (PH 333) completed a literature review and an annotated bibliography with a total of 28 academic articles to gain a better awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. After completing the annotated bibliographies, students completed 14 interviews, two focus groups, environmental scans, and an outlet density scan of area resources that provide victim services in Helena, Montana.
After learning the Carroll College campus was in need of more education regarding sexual assault prevention and victim services, students in PH 333 created educational materials, programing, and social media campaigns to implement a new culture of sexual assault awareness on campus.
1. Mellins CA, Walsh K, Sarvet AL, et al. Sexual assault incidents among college undergraduates: Prevalence and factors associated with risk. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(11):e0186471. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186471
2. DeLoveh HLM, Cattaneo LB. Deciding Where to Turn: A Qualitative Investigation of College Students’ Helpseeking Decisions After Sexual Assault. American Journal of Community Psychology. 2017;59(1/2):65-79. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12125