Understanding available resources on their college campus, as well as the purpose of those resources, prior to an experience of sexual violence or sexual harassment (SVSH) can assist students in determining which resource(s) would be most beneficial in their personal healing or justice journey. 37-56% of students experience unwanted sexual harrassment while connected to an institution of higher education, meaning many students would benefit from this knowledge (Klein et al., 2021). University of California (UC) schools require all members of the UC community to attend Title IX training sessions to comply with Title IX federal law. However, it is unclear how students recall resources for SVSH within the Title IX training.
UC Survivors + Allies (UCS+A) is a student organization that advocates for and with survivors of sexual violence. UCS+A student members collaborated with students, faculty, and staff across 5 UC campuses to develop a survey focusing on students’ awareness, utilization, and evaluation of on- and off-campus resources for survivors. We used the UCS+A survey dataset to examine perceived effectiveness of Title IX training compared to student knowledge regarding UC services and their confidentiality status (confidential vs non-confidential resources). Crosstabulations and Chi-Squared analyses were completed in Stata.
Students are generally not informed about confidentiality of key UC offices and employees. Messaging from the UC seems most effective at informing students about the non-confidentiality of Professors, TAs, and sports coaches. Approximately one third of respondents think the Title IX office and UC Student Health Clinics are confidential, however they are not. About half of respondents are not aware that CARE (Campus Assault Resources and Education) and CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) are confidential services.
There is evidence of an association between perceived effectiveness of Title IX training and accurately identifying CARE and the office of the ombudsperson as confidential resources. There is evidence of an association between perceived effectiveness of Title IX training and accurately identifying professors, TAs, sports coaches, and UC administrative staff as non-confidential resources.
No association was found between perceived effectiveness of Title IX training and accurately identifying Title IX or UC Student Health Clinics as non-confidential resources. No association was found between perceived effectiveness of Title IX training and accurately identifying CAPS as a confidential resource.
Conclusions and Implications
Many students are not aware of SVSH resources or inaccurately identify confidentiality of various resources. For most campus resources targeting SVSH, perceived effectiveness of Title IX training at providing information about confidentiality of resources is not associated with student knowledge regarding confidentiality of those resources.
Implications for the current Title IX training available to UC students will be discussed, including potential changes that may improve effectiveness and student understanding of resources available to survivors of SVSH. Discussion will include potential changes to general UC messaging about the confidential and non-confidential resources on campus, in syllabi descriptions of various on-campus resources, and the training provided to mandated reporters regarding their discussion of Title IX relevant conversations with students.