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Project SAAFE (Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone): Campus Sexual Assault Prevention
    Kevin A. Harris     University of Texas of the Permian Basin


TITLE: Project SAAFE (Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone): Student-Led Campus Sexual Assault Prevention
AUTHORS: Kevin A. Harris, Michelle E. Pence, Danielle Moreno, Carrie L. Kennedy, and Amber Chavez
INSTITUTION: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

INTRODUCTION: Sexual assault is a significant problem at higher education institutions. One-quarter to one-third of college women are sexually assaulted, yet only around 4% report this. It is difficult to get college students to recognize and report sexual assault – and even more difficult to get ethnic minority and male students to do so. Further, institutions often mishandle sexual assault allegations, minimizing or encouraging students not to report them, leading to “institutional betrayal” or “second rape” of student victims. Consequently, several campus sexual assault prevention efforts have emerged recently. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on these efforts and present Consensual Qualitative Research – Modified (CQR-M) data on a student-led campus sexual assault awareness and prevention project for minority and majority women and men. Project SAAFE (Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone) was established to foster education and awareness on safety and responsibility for complainants, respondents, women, and men for the purpose of preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. It began as a Task Force and a student club which partnered with stakeholders in the community and developed programming such as “Let’s Talk About Sex” dialogues, “He Said, She Said” dialogues, a SAAFE brochure, and The Clothesline Project. SAAFE then orchestrated a five-day Heroes Week with a balloon launch, guest speaker, “No More” campaign, two dialogues, and a movie night.
METHOD: CQR-M allows for simple qualitative data from small samples to be analyzed. A five-member research team created a survey interview, distributed and collected the responses, and analyzed the data: four out of the five authors of this article and a graduate assistant.
RESULTS: Quantitative responses evaluated the effectiveness of the various structural components of Project SAAFE. Analyzing the qualitative responses, the research team generated several hundred core ideas in 18 domains that summarized key concepts from the survey interviews. These 18 domains, in turn, were organized into four over-arching categories: Structure, Function, Reception, and Development.
DISCUSSION: By our own estimation, the Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone (SAAFE) Program was a measured success. After a year of brainstorming, forming a task force, partnering with stakeholders, incorporating a student club, and developing programming, SAAFE culminated in a week-long event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It was highly-publicized, well-attended for a week-long event at a small campus, praised by attendees and partner stakeholders, and went well enough to please those of us who organized it. We received several compliments from people who thought it was courageous and important for us to talk about this topic, from students, faculty, and administrators alike. It is our hope that this project may serve as an example for other universities seeking to implement similar sexual assault prevention efforts.





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