"I fear I'm a checkbox": College and university victim advocates' perspectives of campus rape reforms.

This article sought to analyze the perceptions held by college and University victim’s advocates regarding the implementation of federally mandated campus rape reforms.

Summary: 14 campus victim’s advocates from colleges and Universities in the Northeastern United States participated in semi-structured face to face interviews.  The interview transcripts were then analyzed using a thematic approach.  The main themes that emerged from the study were: policy environment, insufficient information, campus climate, shifts in responsibility, and campus response.  This study emphasized that the college/University response to sexual assault has often been in the form of policy reforms with little guidance as to how the policies should be enacted while upholding victim’s rights.  The study participants noted that the focus of their campus administrators has been on compliance, which also can prove to be problematic.  As quoted in the research study, “the problem with compliance, explained one participant, is that “compliance isn’t necessarily victim friendly.”  All 14 of the study participants noted a need for further research on sexual assault prevention and intervention because such research could inform and support sexual assault intervention and prevention efforts on campus, that have the potential to support campus sexual assault policies.

Applications/Evaluation: This study did not evaluate a health program or strategy.

Limitations: This study was conducted in one geographic region of the United States and it is not yet known if the study’s findings are generalizable.

Moylan, C.
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Violence Against Women
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