State of the Science Brief: Programmatic Approaches to Sexual Violence Prevention and Risk Reduction in Post-Secondary Settings

Summary

The authors of this paper and Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence believe that sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault. Further, we wish to emphasize that research on risk reduction should not be taken to imply that victims are responsible for protecting themselves from assault. For too long, survivors have been blamed by individuals and systems for sexual assault, and thus we must whole-heartedly resist any discourse that blames and shames victims. However, we have found through the research that effective rape resistance programs within a specific context may impact the experience of sexual violence, and so we chose to present that research here. To that end, readers should only consider the presented research and findings within the context of the post-secondary environment, as this is the setting where all reported research was conducted: the post-secondary environment is a unique setting and we thus discourage the generalization of findings to other settings and age groups. It is our hope that this report leads to a robust discussion of these findings, and what they mean for sexual violence prevention in Alberta.