Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Resistance - Chapter 11: What Works? Critical Components of Effective Sexual Violence Interventions for Women on College and University Campuses

Elsevier, Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Resistance: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2018, Pages 245-289
Charlene Y. Senn, Jocelyn A. Hollander, Christine A. Gidycz

Three different programs designed to increase women’s ability to recognize, avoid, and resist sexual assault have demonstrated success in reducing sexual violence in college populations. In this chapter, we describe and analyze these three programs (the Ohio University Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Program, the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act Sexual Assault Resistance Program, and the Self-Defense from the Inside Out program). After describing the history, format, and content of each program, we discuss their similarities and differences and assess how their components are related to a range of outcomes, including knowledge of effective self-defense strategies, adherence to rape myths, self and perpetrator-blame, self-defense, self-efficacy, fear, assertiveness skills, use of protective strategies, intention to use particular strategies, and sexual assault outcomes. We conclude by making recommendations for future research. Overall, there is good evidence that such programs effectively reduce the rates of sexual victimization among women when they include evidence-based content, provide opportunity for practice, and are longer than workshop length. We argue that universities must include such programs in their sexual assault prevention plans.