Multiple sexual violence prevention tools: doses and boosters

Date09 April 2018
Published date09 April 2018
AuthorVictoria Banyard,Sharyn J. Potter,Alison C. Cares,Linda M. Williams,Mary M. Moynihan,Jane G. Stapleton
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression, conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology, policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
Multiple sexual violence prevention tools:
doses and boosters
Victoria Banyard, Sharyn J. Potter, Alison C. Cares, Linda M. Williams, Mary M. Moynihan and
Jane G. Stapleton
Purpose Sexual violence prevention programs on college campuses have proliferated in recent years.
While research has also increased, a number of questions remain unanswered that could assist campus
administrators in making evidence-based decisions about implementation of prevention efforts. To that end, the
field of prevention science has highlighted the need to examine the utility of booster sessions for enhancing
prevention education. The purpose of this paper is to examine how two methods of prevention delivery small
group educational workshops and a community-wide social marketing campaign(SMC) worked separately and
together to promote attitude change related to sexual violence among college students.
Design/methodology/approach The two-part study was conducted at two universities. Participants
were from successive cohorts of first year students and randomly assigned to participate in a bystander
based in-person sexual violence prevention program or a control group. Participants were later exposed to a
bystander based sexual violence prevention SMC either before or after a follow-up survey. Analyses
investigated if attitudes varied by exposure group (program only, SMC only, both program and SMC, no
prevention exposure).
Findings Results revealed benefits of the SMC as a booster for attitude changes related to being an active
bystander to prevent sexual violence. Further, students who first participated in the program showed
enhanced attitude effects related to the SMC.
Originality/value This is the first study to look at the combination of effects of different sexual violence
prevention tools on student attitudes. It also showcases a method for how to investigate if prevention tools
work separately and together.
Keywords Sexual assault, Sexual violence, Bystander interventions, College campus,
Prevention education, Violence prevention
Paper type Research paper
Attention to sexual violence on college campuses has increased drastically as reflected by the
hundreds of institutions under Title IX investigation by the US Department of Education for their
handling of sexual assault cases and the proliferation of campus initiatives to prevent sexual
violence, provide support for survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable. Prevention efforts
take a multitude of forms, and many campuses implement multiple approaches as they seek to
maximize positive change in their campus community. Research on effectiveness of these
prevention efforts can be used to help institutions select best practices. However, to date
research has almost exclusively evaluated the impact of individual prevention efforts in isolation.
This study represents one of the first explorations comparing the combined impact of two
different bystander prevention efforts on student attitudes.
Bystander approaches focus on the role members of the community play before, during, and
after sexual violence to change community norms about sexual violence, intervene safely in risky
Received 8 May 2017
Revised 14 August 2017
Accepted 9 October 2017
Funding for this research was
provided by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
The views expressed here are
those of the authors and do not
represent the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
Victoria Banyard is a Professor
at the Department of
Psychology, University of
New Hampshire, Durham,
New Hampshire, USA.
Sharyn J. Potter is a Professor
of Sociology and Director,
Prevention Innovations
Research Center at the
University of New Hampshire,
Durham, NewHampshire, USA.
Alison C. Cares is an Associate
Professor of Sociology &
Criminology at Assumption
College, Worcester,
Massachusetts, USA.
Linda M. Williams is a
Senior Research Scientist at
Wellesley Centers for Women,
Wellesley College, Wellesley,
Massachusetts, USA.
Mary M. Moynihan is an Affiliate
Associate Professor, Womens
Studies and Jane G. Stapleton
is the Executive Director of
Practice, both at the University
of New Hampshire, Durham,
New Hampshire, USA.
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-05-2017-0287 VOL. 10 NO. 2 2018, pp.145-155, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599

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