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Description and initial evaluation of a values-based campus sexual assault prevention programme for first-year college students

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Preventing sexual assault in college and university settings is an important public health priority. The college campus is a high-risk setting for experiencing sexual assault while at university. Many campuses utilise brief educational programmes to prevent sexual assault, but these programmes are rarely evaluated. In this paper, we provide a programme description and evaluation data from a sexual assault prevention programme administered to first-year students during their first semester at a large public university. Relationship Remix was a theoretically-informed upstream prevention programme collaboratively developed by campus stakeholders to focus on healthy relationship skills and sexual assault prevention. Students (N = 2,305; 55% female, 71% White) completed web-based surveys immediately before and after attending the 1.5-hour group-based programme. On 8 of 10 items assessing programme-related knowledge and attitudes, findings suggest that the programme positively impacted students’ beliefs and attitudes related to consensual sex and preventing sexual misconduct. Importantly, the largest shift in beliefs occurred with regard to enhanced awareness of campus resources. Future research should examine behavioural outcomes and whether the programme may be effective in reducing sexual misconduct as part of a multi-pronged prevention strategy.
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Keywords: USA; University; college students; programme evaluation; sexual assault prevention; sexual violence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Addiction Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA 2: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, Division of Student Life, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA 3: Wolverine Wellness, University Health Service, Division of Student Life, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA 4: Injury Prevention Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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