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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2017

Laura Finley and Jill Levenson

The purpose of this paper is to use the authors’ reflections and a review of literature to assess the ways that universities have yet to fully include faculty members in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use the authors’ reflections and a review of literature to assess the ways that universities have yet to fully include faculty members in their sexual assault prevention initiatives. Recommendations for how faculty can assist are included.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a review of literature regarding institutional factors related to sexual assault and the potential of faculty, followed by personal reflections by both authors, who together have more than four decades experience studying sexual assault, providing training and educational presentations, and serving victims as well as perpetrators of sexual violence.

Findings

The authors conclude that, despite White House mandates for training faculty and campus requirements that should utilize the expertise of faculty members, many campuses are relying heavily or exclusively on student affairs professionals and lawyers to create and implement sexual assault prevention programs. Faculty should, the authors assert, be involved in task forces, needs assessments, training, and other initiatives in order for campus prevention programs to be robust.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this paper are that it is based only on a review of literature and personal reflections from the authors, who teach at a small, Catholic, liberal arts school in South Florida. As such, the recommendations, while intended to be thoughtful, may be less appropriate for educators and administrators at different types of colleges or outside of the USA. Additional research on faculty experience with sexual assault prevention is recommended.

Practical implications

The recommendations provided in the paper should be useful to academic leaders who are developing or expanding sexual assault prevention initiatives. The paper also provides useful information for faculty members regarding how they can assist with these issues.

Social implications

Faculty members with training and expertise can and should be used to help craft campus policies, procedures, and programs related to sexual assault. In the USA, sexual assault training is required but has not been fully implemented.

Originality/value

Although much has been written about campus sexual assault, little research assesses the role of faculty. This paper is a preliminary effort to address how interpretations of US federal law include faculty and how faculty remain an untapped resource in terms of sexual assault prevention.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Unnati Patel and Ronald Roesch

Campus sexual assault has received a great deal of media attention in recent years, with much focus being placed on the factors unique to universities that enable these…

Abstract

Purpose

Campus sexual assault has received a great deal of media attention in recent years, with much focus being placed on the factors unique to universities that enable these crimes to occur. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the circumstances under which these crimes take place and examine the policies of institutions across the USA and Canada to determine whether legislation from various governmental levels impacts the prevalence and incidence rates of sexual assault.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature on sexual assault is conducted to gain an understanding of the contributory factors in campus sexual assault, and fields outside of psychology are included in the search to capture phenomena outside the perpetrator-victim dyad.

Findings

The findings suggest that unique variables exist in campus culture including prevention and intervention strategies put in place by governments and individual universities. Some of these policies are aimed at providing victim services, while others engage faculty, staff, and students in taking action from a bystander standpoint.

Originality/value

This paper also investigates the impacts that mandatory policies would have across North America, and suggests future policy initiatives to reduce the deleterious effects of sexual assault for students and universities alike.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Marina Rosenthal, Carly P. Smith and Jennifer J. Freyd

The purpose of this paper is to examine employees’ experiences of institutional betrayal after a campus sexual assault.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine employees’ experiences of institutional betrayal after a campus sexual assault.

Design/methodology/approach

University employees completed online measures evaluating various attitudes toward the university.

Findings

The majority of participants reported institutional betrayal in the university’s response to the case. Employees who reported institutional betrayal indicated significantly lower attachment to the university than employees who reported no institutional betrayal. Institutional betrayal mediated the relationship between institutional attachment and institutional forgiveness.

Social implications

Universities’ failure to respond effectively and promptly to sexual violence does not go unnoticed by employees. Institutional actions after sexual assault have the power to damage employees’ attachment to the university – employees who experienced institutional betrayal were less attached, and ultimately less forgiving of the institution. Universities’ poor prevention and response efforts impact their entire campus community and compromise community members’ ongoing relationship with the school.

Originality/value

College students’ active resistance to sexual violence on campus is featured prominently on the pages of major news outlets. Yet, less featured in research and media is the impact of campus sexual assault on university employees, particularly after sexual assault cases are mishandled. This study offers perspective on employees’ experiences and reactions after a prominent sexual assault case.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Theresa Walton-Fisette

In order to understand how collegiate athletics fits within the wider problem of sexual violence on college campuses, the purpose of this paper is to start with an…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to understand how collegiate athletics fits within the wider problem of sexual violence on college campuses, the purpose of this paper is to start with an examination of the overall scope of the issue of sexual violence in the USA and the larger culture that produces it. Next, the relevant laws and adjudication of sexual violence operant in American colleges are outlined. Finally, college athletics is placed into this bigger context by highlighting a number of particular cases to illustrate a broader understanding of collegiate athletes involved in sexual violence.

Design/methodology/approach

The author examines the history of rape laws and adjudication and the federal laws relevant to institutions of higher education. The author investigates the debate over adjudication of sexual violence within the criminal justice system or through campus systems. The author read previous literature to determine links between sexual violence and collegiate athletes and highlights particular cases that have gotten significant media attention for clues to the rape prone culture that can be fostered within collegiate athletics.

Findings

This analysis highlights how collegiate athletics can be a context that creates a rape prone culture and that universities and the criminal justice system need further reform to overcome long-standing beliefs in rape myths which perpetuate sexual violence, discourage reporting by victims of sexual violence, deter bystander intervention and underplay the impact of sexual violence on victims. Thus, structural changes are needed within collegiate athletic cultures as well as on college campuses to address sexual violence.

Practical implications

College campuses and athletic departments must address climates that create rape prone cultures. There remains a need for systematic data collection of perpetrators of sexual violence, along side data collection of experiences of sexual violence. College campuses and athletic departments must have in place procedures and policy that adhere to federal law, whereby athletes are not treated differently from non-athletes and victims are offered appropriate services that recognize the trauma of sexual violence. Further progress toward a standard of affirmative consent is needed to move toward greater sexual autonomy for everyone.

Originality/value

There is evidence that collegiate athletes are disproportionately represented among the population of sexual violence perpetrators on college campuses. Thus, it is vital to understand this population and that connection. The value of this work is to explicate the complicated adjudication process between university disciplinary processes and the criminal justice system.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Book part
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Chris Linder

Abstract

Details

Sexual Violence on Campus
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-229-1

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Sarah-Jayne Camp, Anna C. Sherlock-Smith and Emma L. Davies

Sexual assault is prevalent on UK University campuses, and prevention efforts are being increased. However, at present there is limited evidence about UK students…

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Abstract

Purpose

Sexual assault is prevalent on UK University campuses, and prevention efforts are being increased. However, at present there is limited evidence about UK students’ attitudes towards sexual assault prevention and what they think should be done to effectively address the issue. The purpose of this paper is to explore these views to provide a foundation for the development of a new intervention.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional anonymous online survey was completed by 515 students (73 per cent women; M age: 21.56; 79 per cent heterosexual; and 82.9 per cent white). There were quantitative questions about experiences of sexual assault, attitudes towards sexual consent and victim blaming. Qualitative data were collected regarding participants’ views on what universities should do to target sexual assault.

Findings

In line with previous studies, the authors found evidence of commonplace and normalised sexual assault behaviours. Women had more positive attitudes towards explicit consent than men, and were less likely to blame victims of sexual assault who had been drinking. Consent behaviour was predicted by positive views towards consent and lower levels of blaming. Themes relating to “awareness”, “attitudes”, “environment” and “opposition” were identified in the qualitative data.

Practical implications

Findings highlight the importance of engaging with students to develop effective prevention measures. Students are likely to find university-led prevention strategies acceptable, but this topic needs to be addressed in the context of the prevailing culture, which may provide an environment where certain behaviours are tolerated. New prevention programmes need to treat the issue as one that is relevant to all students and not just target men as perpetrators and women as victims. Such strategies need to do more than treat this as an isolated issue, to which the solution is re-education about the meaning of consent.

Originality/value

There is at present a lack of research evidence about UK students’ views on sexual assault prevention. This exploratory survey highlights areas for consideration when developing new interventions.

Details

Health Education, vol. 118 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Stephanie Madden

While universities continue to grow increasingly sophisticated in their communication functions, issues like sexual assault continue to pose a challenge. One reason is…

Abstract

Purpose

While universities continue to grow increasingly sophisticated in their communication functions, issues like sexual assault continue to pose a challenge. One reason is that these issues are emotional, complex, and often only dealt with at the point that they have become a crisis for the institution. The purpose of this paper is to understand the role that dialogue can play in proactively communicating about issues of sexual assault.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized 32 in-depth interviews with university officials from 21 different universities across the USA with responsibility for communicating about issues of sexual assault, including Title IX officers, victims advocate services, student affairs, and university communications.

Findings

Issues managers worked to create opportunities for dialogue on their campus communities by highlighting shared values. Within a dialogic framework, university issues managers were creating spaces for dialogue and developing alternative forms of engagement in an effort to empower students with the necessary skills to engage in dialogue with their peers. There was a recognition that dialogue is most effective when it is peer-to-peer vs coming from an authoritative or administrative position. Issues managers helped students to develop the skills necessary for engaging in dialogue with each other.

Originality/value

To advance public relations scholarship, there is a need to consider emotional and gendered issues that are often stigmatized. This can help practitioners to develop better, and proactive, communication strategies for handling issues of sexual assault as to avoid negative media attention and work to change organizational culture.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2017

Cristina L. Reitz-Krueger, Sadie J. Mummert and Sara M. Troupe

While awareness of sexual assaults on college campuses has increased, the majority of efforts to address it are focused on female victims. The relative neglect of male…

Abstract

Purpose

While awareness of sexual assaults on college campuses has increased, the majority of efforts to address it are focused on female victims. The relative neglect of male victims may be due in part to problematic rape myths that suggest men cannot be sexually assaulted, especially by women. The purpose of this paper is to compare rates of different types of sexual assault between male and female undergraduates, and explore the relationship between acceptance of traditional rape myths focused on female victims, and rape myths surrounding male victims.

Design/methodology/approach

Students at a mid-sized university in Pennsylvania (n=526) answered an online questionnaire about their own experiences of sexual assault since coming to college, as well as their endorsement of male and female rape myths.

Findings

While women experienced more sexual assault overall, men were just as likely to have experienced rape (i.e. forced penetration) or attempted rape. Acceptance of male and female rape myths was significantly correlated and men were more likely than women to endorse both. Participants were also more likely to endorse female than male rape myths.

Research limitations/implications

By analyzing sexual assaults in terms of distinct behaviors instead of one composite score, the authors can get a more nuanced picture of how men and women experience assault.

Practical implications

Campus-based efforts to address sexual assault need to be aware that male students also experience assault and that myths surrounding men as victims may impede their ability to access services.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to our knowledge of a relatively understudied topic: undergraduate male victims of sexual assault.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Chris Linder

Abstract

Details

Sexual Violence on Campus
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-229-1

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Book part
Publication date: 3 June 2015

Marc A. Grimmett and Robert A. Horne

African American student-athletes represent the largest racial minority group of athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the majority of male…

Abstract

African American student-athletes represent the largest racial minority group of athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the majority of male student-athletes in football and basketball. The NCAA has partnered with It’s On Us, an awareness campaign to help end sexual violence on college campuses. Intercollegiate athletics is a viable context, then, to consider transformative Black masculinity and sexual violence prevention. Transformative Black masculinity is when an African American or Black man intentionally employs his identity in the service of social justice and purposefully engages other Black males, as well as others, for that cause. This chapter considers transformative Black masculinity as a conceptual tool for the intentional engagement of Black male student-athletes within institutions of higher education for sexual violence prevention. Recommendations for policy, education and practice, and research are provided.

Details

Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An Exploration of Problems and Solutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-394-1

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