• Assessing a comprehensive approach to prevent sexual violence on campus: Implications for program improvement

      Ejikeme, Chinwe; Powell, Threets Kia; Bayo, Mosi; Toddle, Kia L; O'Connor, Jean; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: On college campuses, sexual violence (or sexual assault) is at epidemic proportions. As many as one in four college women experience sexual assaults, most of which are not reported, likely due to the adverse reactions stemming from social norms and attitudes about rape. To prevent sexual violence on college campuses, the multi-level factors influencing it necessitate implementation of a holistic approach channeled at all levels. The present multi-method study assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of a peer educator (PE)-facilitated program implemented as part of a comprehensive sexual assault prevention program in three small Georgia colleges. Methods: Student participants (N=128) were questioned on their attitude toward rape myths, intention to rape, and likelihood to intervene in a potential rape situation. Paired t-tests for pre-/post-test scores assessed statistical differences in mean levels of outcomes at the data collection points. In addition, a qualitative assessment explored the feasibility of implementing, on campus, a long-duration program for prevention of sexual violence. Results: The findings indicated that, after exposure to the program, participants demonstrated decreased rape myth beliefs and intention to commit rape and an increased likelihood to intervene in a potential rape situation. In addition, apart from attaining regular student attendance in the 10-week sessions of the program, implementation of the “One on Four & Beyond” program proved to be feasible. Conclusions: This preliminary, multi-approach study suggests the effectiveness of a school PE-facilitated prevention program as a component of a comprehensive approach in reducing sexual violence on campus. Future studies are necessary to enhance understanding of the impact of the program.