The Power of Preparedness: Awareness and Campus Climate

April 30th 2018

What began as a simple hashtag, calling to survivors of sexual assault to not only give them courage to speak out, but to ensure them they’re not alone, the #metoo movement has provided a voice to those possibly afraid to let their guard down and share their stories. This national movement, inspired by a simple phrase brought into being over 10 years ago by activist Tarana Burke, has drawn much-needed attention to the sexual assault issue in this country. From the film industry to college campuses, more conversations are taking place as those healing from this crime feel empowered to not only share their own experiences, but work toward preventive measures to keep others safe.

How training programs to improve sexual assault awareness and prevention are impacting college campuses


For colleges, the conversation around sexual assault on campus has been going on for a while. In the last five years, a variety of incidents both happening at higher education institutions and within the national legislature have affected how sexual crimes are handled at the college level. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), sexual assault “disproportionately affects college women and impedes their ability to participate fully in campus life.” The AAUW goes on to say that one in five women is a target for sexual assault while they’re in college. This staggering statistic coupled with the increase in attention this very serious issue is finally receiving is leading to colleges taking action to fight sexual violence on campus.

From offering educational and preventive programs on campus to students, to holding faculty and staff training, to bringing in outside speakers to delve into the topic — colleges can do their part to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault, prepare the right people to respond and offer support, and ensure survivors have the tools and resources they need to cope and heal. A recent research note and supporting infographic published by Skyfactor demonstrates the positive impact of well-designed student training on college campuses.

“Overall, students with some form of training in sexual assault indicated more confidence in their institution’s ability and willingness to address the problem.” The impact of sexual assault training goes beyond simply knowing their college takes this issue seriously, it gives students the resources they need to get help and support.

    • 86% of students receiving training believe their institution would support the person reporting a sexual assault.
    • 85% of those students believe their institution would take corrective action to address any factors that contributing to the assault taking place.
    • 85% of those students believe their institution would take disciplinary action against the offender.

Having confidence that your institution will support you if reporting an act of sexual violence as well as take action to prevent it from reoccurring can empower survivors to speak out not only to help themselves, but to bring awareness to this serious issue affecting so many college students.

To learn more about how campus training programs related to sexual assault influence perceptions of campus climate and safety, please check out Skyfactor’s latest research note and infographic.

Looking for more information on campus climate studies and assessment? Check out our related blog, “Addressing the Challenges of Campus Climate Studies.”

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/17/us/me-too-tarana-burke-origin-trnd/index.html
https://www.aauw.org/resource/campus-sexual-assault-tool-kit/
https://www.aauw.org/2014/04/14/fight-campus-sexual-violence/
https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf
Sexual Assault Awareness Training and Campus Climate
The Positive Effects of Student Preparedness on Campus Climate