The Risk of Rape Is Cut in Half by New Program that Trains Women to Deal with It, according to new research.
The new intensive program teaches female college students to deal with a potential sexual assault, by showing them how to recognize and resit such an aggression.
New England Journal of Medicine published the study on Wednesday. The study examined the effects of taking a four-session responding to sexual assault course in comparison with a more common approach of the matter through providing brochures on sexual aggression and such.
The study unveiled good results and declares the program as one of the first to acquire success in a controlled trial. It is also the first to be ever published in New England Journal of Medicine.
By July 1, Colleges and Universities are required to present to the U.S. Department of Education, detailed programs on how the will manage sexual assaults, besides just spreading flyers around.
Statistics on sexual aggression show that at least 1 in 5 women that was attending collage at a certain point has been sexually assaulted. The same statistics show the these assaults are most likely to be carried through by the victim’s classmates or acquaintances and the most targeted women are the freshmen and sophomore women.
The freshman women newly arrived at a college or university is a generally the type that has been taught to be friendly and to make herself liked, says Canadian psychologist Charlene Y. Senn, lead of the study, and it can prove difficult for them to see through the intention of a potential aggressor.
This, together with other factors involved, prevents the victim from responding to a sexual assault in a way that could counteract it. The psychologist designed a program to help college women overpower the emotional responses which can prevent them from identifying and responding to a possible assault.
Four sessions of three hours each ware integrated in the college’s curriculum and it focused on assessing skills, acknowledgement and proper responses to an aggression. Self-defense training based on martial art was also provided to the participants.
Over the course of almost 2 years, 893 female college students at the Universities of Calgary, Guelph and Windsor in Canada participated in the program.
451 women went through a series of problem-solving exercises, lectures and discussions while the other 442 were asked to attend a short 15 minutes session in which they were mainly provided with brochures on dealing with assaults.
Senn and her team interviewed these women after one year elapsed and the findings were quite interesting. 9.8% of the women offered the brochures had been raped and 9.3% were the intended victims of attempted rapes. Non-consensual sexual contact was also reported by 40% of them.
5.2% of the women given resistance training reported being raped and 3.4% reported have been the victims of an attempted rape. Non-consensual sexual contact reported by this group was 34% lower that what was reported by the other group.
The program proved a success but training only women into resisting a possible assault is as looking at only one side of the problem. Other programs should be developed to eliminate or at least lower the factors which lead to these assaults on women.
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