Session: Beyond Victimization: Using Campus Climate Surveys to Tailor Sexual Violence Prevention Efforts to Diverse Groups of Students (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

269 Beyond Victimization: Using Campus Climate Surveys to Tailor Sexual Violence Prevention Efforts to Diverse Groups of Students

Sunday, January 20, 2019: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Golden Gate 2, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children (VAWC)
Symposium Organizer:
Julia O'Connor, MSW, MPH, Rutgers University
Sarah McMahon, PhD, Rutgers University
Campus sexual violence has been a growing concern for social workers who address the needs of survivors and work to prevent such incidents from occurring. Prevention efforts on campuses have ramped up with legislation mandating that institutions implement sexual violence prevention programming. Along with prevention efforts, institutions of higher learning have increased efforts to measure sexual violence prevalence rates using survey methodology. These surveys, called campus climate surveys, ask questions to assess students' experiences with sexual violence on campus. As several states have mandated such methods and the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault issued guidance on campus climate surveys, many institutions have conducted surveys on their campuses. Social workers are often involved in the design of campus climate surveys and prevention programs, implementation with students and providing assistance to survivors. This symposium brings together four papers that discuss moving beyond the usual analysis of the campus climate data to solely examine victimization rates for traditional students, in order to examine differing indicators that may vary for diverse groups of students on campus.

The campus climate data used across these four papers comes from a diverse array of institutions: 1) a large, public institution; 2) two smaller satellite campuses made-up of mostly commuter students; and 3) a mid-sized private university. Prevention measures addressed through these analyses include students' bystander attitudes (intentions of assisting a victim of sexual assault), actions to prevent sexual assault, perception of the university's response to incidents and perception of the university's helping procedures and professionals. The four papers in this symposium use differing campus climate survey data to examine the how prevention efforts on campuses vary for differing groups commonly found on campus.

The first paper demonstrates that among students with a low sense of campus community, the relationship between awareness of resources and perception of the university's response to sexual violence is particularly important. The second paper examines university students' bystander attitudes and perception of their peers' responses to sexual violence on campus, finding that male students' bystander attitudes are more influenced by their perception of peers than female students. The third paper demonstrates that commuter students are less likely to be engaged in ongoing actions on campus to address sexual violence when compared to their non-commuter peers. Finally, the fourth paper examines graduate students' experiences and perception of the university as a possible source of help, finding that graduate students are unaware of services and do not, as a whole, trust the service providers.

The four papers in this symposium can increase our understanding of how campus climate data can be used to inform social workers' prevention efforts on campuses nationwide. This symposium provides insights into how prevention measures differ for diverse groups of students–from commuters to graduate students. These findings suggest that traditional one-shot prevention programming may be ineffective for some students and that tailoring prevention efforts can increase the uptake of messages, utilization of services and ultimately decrease sexual violence across all groups of students nationwide.

* noted as presenting author
Readiness to Take Action on Sexual Violence: Comparing Commuter and Non-Commuter Students
Julia O'Connor, MSW, MPH, Rutgers University; Jordan Steiner, MA, MSW, Center on Violence Against Women and Children; Simone Snyder, Center on Violence Against Women and Children
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