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Sexual Assault on College Campuses - Expert Chat Webinar, NIJ and Harvard's Government Innovators Network

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2008
3 pages
This video and transcript - the last of four webinars in the Government Innovators Network's "Series on Sexual Violence" - examines the prevalence, nature, and reporting of various types of sexual assault experienced by college students.
One presentation focuses on the "undetected" rapist (a person who premeditates making women vulnerable to rape by reducing their ability to resist). Research on this type of rapist indicates that he uses instrumental, not gratuitous violence, and he plans his attacks by devising multiple strategies for making his victims vulnerable to his sexual advances. He frequently manipulates the victim to consume alcohol to lower her resistance. The presentation also reports on the findings of a Boston-area study of 76 "undetected" serial rapists, who committed a total of 1,045 sex offenses. A second presentation suggests ways to change a culture to reduce sex offenses. This includes identifying behaviors that must change if power-based personal violence is to be reduced and engaging in behavioral change. Individual social change models are provided. A third presentation addresses bystander behavior that facilitates rape. In discussing this issue, attention is given to cultural messages specific to this issue, personal characteristics, and peer influences. Ways bystanders can prevent a sex offense are noted. Another presentation outlines the resources available from the U.S. Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women in assisting research and action on violence against women on college campuses. The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) study is also reviewed. Data are presented on the prevalence of completed sexual assaults since entering college by type of assault, factors associated with being a victim of sexual assault, and CSA case study methodology.

Date Published: December 1, 2008