ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl Dudasik-Wiggs (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Public institutions of higher learning are required by The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Statistics Act 1990 (20 USC [section] 1092(f)) to provide education on crime prevention to constituents and to maintain and publish accurate statistics on criminality. But while research indicates that upwards of 25% of college-age women will become victims of sexual assault or attempted assault while they are attending American universities, fewer than 15% of those survivors will report their victimization to authorities. This qualitative study sought to uncover possible factors that affect victim advocates' ability to educate students about and assist students after sexual assaults. A Qualtrics survey was distributed to twelve public co-educational universities located in the Southern seaboard states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. These purposively selected schools serve average undergraduate populations of 21,000; have affiliations with victim advocates who assist student survivors of sexual violence; and are recognized as research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Three advocates were then interviewed about the following themes that emerged from the survey: external influences, rape myths, federal and state regulations, and university compliance. The names of the universities and of the respondents have been disguised to maintain confidentiality. The basic principles of feminist standpoint theory—which acknowledges the unique sensibility of marginalized persons to recognize oppressive actions—comprised the overarching philosophy that informed this study. By identifying obstacles encountered by advocates in the performance of their duties, the study may be utilized to develop more effective public and university policies on sexual assault.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
victim advocacy, higher education
Feminist theory; Rape victims--Counseling of; Rape in universities and colleges--Southern States; Rape--Prevention; Social advocacy

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