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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Amentahru Wahlrab, Sarah M. Sass and Robert Edward Sterken

“The Need to Disrupt Social Control” discusses three examples: sexual assault, civil rights, and state security, and how all three involve social control forces that…

Abstract

“The Need to Disrupt Social Control” discusses three examples: sexual assault, civil rights, and state security, and how all three involve social control forces that promote or permit the oppression of individuals, groups, and societies. Amentahru Wahlrab, Sarah M. Sass, and Robert Edward Sterken Jr. briefly provide examples of how social control can be disrupted including #MeToo (sexual assault), the American Civil Rights Movement (civil rights), and the Arab Spring (authoritarian regimes) to illustrate how social control has been disrupted in these areas. The chapter illustrates how patriarchal norms allow for sexual assault by those with power within contexts, such as Hollywood, academia, business, and politics. Sexual assault survivors and bystanders often do not report instances of assault due to informal social norms permitting such actions and fear of personal and professional harm.

On a different level, the jail in the American south was one of the most feared institutions for African Americans. It was not uncommon for an African American to never return from what would be a night in the “drunk tank” for a white person. Black Americans stayed “in their place” due to the threat of the jail cell. Finally, the chapter details how tyrants use the full weight of state security forces, including the police and the military, to maintain their control. Fear of security forces is routinely encouraged by arrests, torture, and even disappearance (of people) at the hands of the security forces. “The Need to Disrupt Social Control” concludes that in these cases, social control maintains an oppressive order of some kind, thus social control is understood as a potential negative.

Details

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9

Keywords

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: 26 June 2021

Heather C. Melton

Sexual assault continues to be a major criminal problem. Sexual assault kits (SAK) are one way to preserve evidence to use to pursue justice in sexual assault cases. In…

Abstract

Purpose

Sexual assault continues to be a major criminal problem. Sexual assault kits (SAK) are one way to preserve evidence to use to pursue justice in sexual assault cases. In recent years, it has become clear that very often these SAKs are never sent to the crime lab to be processed. In an effort to deal with these unsubmitted kits and to research their impact, the Bureau of Justice Assistance funded various grants, known as the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) nationwide to create multidisciplinary teams to both improve the process and response to sexual assault and to provide research on this issue. This paper aims to explore a process created by one of the multidisciplinary teams in one SAKI site – the case review. Ultimately, the goal is to explore how different participants in the case review process perceive and experience the case review and provide implications of these findings.

Design/methodology/approach

Using surveys of case review participants, participant observation and key stakeholder interviews findings indicate that case reviews are beneficial in terms of training, collaboration and overall response to sexual assault.

Findings

Using all methods, the participants of case reviews found them beneficial. Both new information was gleaned from almost every case review and decisions on particular cases were potentially changed, particularly among the key stakeholders with the ability to impact decisions in sexual assault cases – law enforcement and prosecutors. Issues were raised through the case review process that might not have been without this process. Thus, case reviews have the potential to affect policy and practice and improve future reporting, investigations and prosecutions of sexual assault cases.

Practical implications

Multidisciplinary responses to sexual assault cases, specifically the case review process, are beneficial. Issues for training, opportunities for collaboration and general issues for a particular jurisdiction are all potentially raised during a case review. The case reviews need to be organized, preparation work completed and properly facilitated to be effective. Participants in the case review process themselves perceive case reviews to be beneficial.

Originality/value

This paper presents findings from one of the SAKI sites. A specific process, the case review process, that was developed and implemented at this site was explored. The findings on this process have implications for both practice and policy.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Melissa S. Morabito, April Pattavina and Linda M. Williams

Police officers are exposed to a wide variety of stressors – frequently interacting with people at their worst moments and sometimes absorbing the trauma that victims…

Abstract

Purpose

Police officers are exposed to a wide variety of stressors – frequently interacting with people at their worst moments and sometimes absorbing the trauma that victims experience themselves. Investigating sexual assaults reported by adults presents significant challenges given the often high levels of distress experienced by victims paired with the likelihood that no arrest will be made and the low conviction rates. Little research explores the impact this investigatory work has on the detectives who are assigned to these cases.

Design/methodology/approach

Using interviews conducted with 42 sexual assault detectives across six jurisdictions designed to understand sexual assault case attrition, the study enhances understanding of the effects of investigating crimes of sexual violence on detectives. Specifically, the aurhors explore their experiences within the context of burnout and secondary traumatic stress.

Findings

The current study clearly identifies the incidence of emotional symptoms among sexual assault investigators. During the course of interviews about their decision-making, detectives, unprompted by researchers, manifested symptoms of trauma resulting from their assigned caseloads.

Research limitations/implications

Open-ended interviews offer a promising approach to exploring foundational questions.

Practical implications

Exposure to victims who have suffered the trauma of sexual assault can have a subsequent impact on the job performance and personal life of those who respond to victims in immediate crisis and to those who provide long-term assistance. A plan for future research is detailed to better pinpoint how and when these symptoms arise and interventions that may address their effects.

Originality/value

While there is a large literature detailing vicarious trauma for social workers, nurses and doctors, the topic is generally understudied among police officers and specifically detectives despite their repeated contacts with adult victims of violent crimes. This research builds upon the knowledge of burnout experienced by child maltreatment detectives to enhance understanding of sexual assault detectives.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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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…

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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

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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…

1952

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: 21 September 2017

Ryan Spohn, Abby Bjornsen and Emily M. Wright

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors impacting college and non-college women reporting sexual assault to police. The goal is to increase knowledge regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors impacting college and non-college women reporting sexual assault to police. The goal is to increase knowledge regarding differences in the rates of reporting and reasons for reporting across these two groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were drawn from a national telephone survey of US women and a sample of US college women. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine factors influencing the reporting of sexual assault to police.

Findings

Non-college women were more likely than college women to report to police. Women who perceived their victimization as rape were much more likely to report to the police and women who had contact with a helping agency were also much more likely to report their assault. Contacting a helping agency is more relevant to non-college women’s reporting to police, while considering the assault a rape is more important for college women.

Practical implications

The results suggest that significant work is needed to encourage women in college to view sexual assaults as worthy of reporting. Boosting victim awareness and access to services is paramount. Providing education and empowerment to student victims to inform their perceptions about the definition of rape is vital, as women perceiving sexual assault as rape are more likely to report the incident.

Originality/value

The research significantly adds to the literature indicating differences in rates of reporting and the factors that impact reporting uniquely for college vs non-college women.

Details

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

Keywords

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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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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2020

Monica K. Miller

Affirmative consent (AC) policies require potential sexual partners to clearly and positively confirm that they want to engage in sexual behavior – in contrast to standard…

Abstract

Purpose

Affirmative consent (AC) policies require potential sexual partners to clearly and positively confirm that they want to engage in sexual behavior – in contrast to standard “no means no” policies, which typically define consent through resistance. AC policies might not be effective because they do not align well with typical scripts of how consent is given in practice. This study aims to compare participants’ judgments as to what constitutes sexual assault, using either an AC policy or a standard “no means no” policy.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants read 16 scenarios depicting various male-female sexual encounters and applied either an AC or a standard “no means no” policy to determine whether the encounter was consensual.

Findings

When an AC policy was used, participants were more likely to judge the scenario as sexual assault. Aspects of the scenario (which reflect AC policy criteria), such as the type of communication (verbal or nonverbal), clarity of communication (clear or unclear) and resistance (high or low) also affected judgments of the scenario. Relationship type (stranger vs acquaintance) did not affect judgments. Students were more likely to perceive the scenarios as sexual assault than community members; they also perceived differences between scenarios based on verbal communication and clarity more than community members. Finally, there was no main effect of participant gender, however, men perceived differences between scenarios based on verbal communication type, whereas women did not.

Research limitations/implications

Findings indicate that participants are generally able to apply AC policies correctly, even though AC criteria do not generally align with common sexual scripts.

Originality/value

This is the first study known to test whether decision-makers can properly apply criteria outlined in AC policies and whether the application of these policies affect decisions-makers judgments as to whether a sexual encounter is consensual or assault.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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