College Students

  Population considerations

  • Relationship to perpetrator. Women in college are more likely to be victimized by men with whom they have had several previous encounters (i.e., date or acquaintance) (Yeater, 1999). This puts college women at higher risk because often they are in situations where their guards are down and their inhibitions are low. This hinders them from recognizing that an acquaintance or a date may be dangerous. College women often fear rape and assault from strangers and, consequently, take measures to prevent being raped or assaulted by a stranger. In actuality, sexual assault on college campuses is most commonly perpetrated by someone who knows the woman (Day, 1995).
  • Underreporting. College women often fail to report that they have been a victim of sexual assault because they are embarrassed or concerned with the information not remaining confidential. Similarly, they fear that the perpetrator will retaliate (Aarti, 2005).

  Strategies to address these considerations

  • Offer prevention classes. Colleges and universities should offer sexual assault prevention classes for males and females. Such classes should include ways to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, acquaintance and date sexual violence, and male/female communication strategies.
  • Address myths.Education strategies should address myths related to sexual assault, including identity of perpetrator, legal rights and health risks.

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