Sexual Assault Prevention and Reporting on College Campuses in the US: A Review of Policies and Recommendations

Tara K. Streng, Akiko Kamimura


Objective: Sexual violence within the collegiate environment is a pressing issue within American society.  One way to address sexual violence is through the adaptation and implementation of a sexual assault policy by colleges and universities. The purpose of this study is to review sexual misconduct and assault policies of ten public universities as well as federal policies in the US. This study contributes to increasing the knowledge of sexual assault policies on American campuses that would be helpful in the development of more effective prevention policies, increasing sexual assault reporting, and decreasing sexual assaults. Methods: The data included relevant legislation, and the university sexual assault and/or misconduct policies from ten selected public universities within the United States in Fall 2014. Results: The policies of the ten universities vary. Three of the universities do not have university policies that explicitly address sexual misconduct as assault.  Sexual harassment policies tend to focus on the threat of violence, as opposed to perpetrated sexual violence itself. Conclusions: Further efforts in policy revisions need to be made so that more universities will not only implement sexual assault policies, but also implement more comprehensive policies.

Keywords: sexual assault, safety, violence prevention, college health promotion, USA

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