Understanding sexual assault at Acadia University
LE3 .A278 2015
Bachelor of Arts
Sexual assault is a social, cultural, and criminal issue firmly established in North American university communities. Public dialogue and research on sexual violence within post-secondary environments have only recently begun after years of silence and misinformed stigmatization. The present study uncovers rates and patterns of sexual assault experienced at Acadia University, and provides recommendations for programming, resource awareness, and policy enhancement based on the quantitative and qualitative data to reduce student harms and minimize risk. Data was collected through an online anonymous survey distributed to past and current Acadia students who may have experienced sexual assault on or off campus within the town of Wolfville. Results show that sexual assault experienced by Acadia students is heavily gendered, reporting levels are low, and high risk factors include alcohol consumption and residence-based housing. There is a lack of resource awareness for survivors, as well as mixed satisfaction ratings toward services received through the Acadia community and the Kings District RCMP Wolfville Detachment (Wolfville RCMP). Overall, peer influence and misinformed dialogue concerning the issue of assault has influenced the low reporting levels and mental health issues following an assault at Acadia. With sexual assault having a strong negative impact on the mental, social, and economic well being of survivors, it is important that measures are taken to assist those affected.
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