Georgia State, Partners Introduce Climate Survey to Aid in Preventing Campus Sexual Assaults

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Georgia State University and its partners have introduced a climate survey to aid colleges and universities across the country in stemming sexual assaults on their campuses.

As institutions move to be proactive in preventing sexual violence, it’s imperative that we go to the root of the problem: people who are engaging in violent, harassing behaviors and the norms that allow the behavior to continue,” Swartout said.

Georgia State University and its partners have introduced a climate survey to aid colleges and universities across the country in stemming sexual assaults on their campuses.

The free, evidence-based survey was developed by the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3), a consortium of sexual assault researchers and student affairs professionals responding to calls by the Obama Administration to strengthen efforts to prevent campus sexual assaults.

Nationwide, one in five young women is sexually assaulted while attending college, according to a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll and other studies.

“It’s important for institutions to understand the scope of the issue, evidenced by the number of individuals who have experienced misconduct in terms of being victimized,” said Kevin Swartout, assistant professor of psychology at Georgia State and a member of the consortium.

Colleges and universities can use the survey to evaluate the prevalence of sexual assault on their campuses and to track changes in the scope of sexual misconduct. Over time, the survey can assess the effectiveness of prevention efforts.

“In tracking this data, effective programs will be evidenced by perpetration rates going down,” Swartout said.

Unlike many other surveys that measure campus sexual assault, the ARC3 survey tools gather data not only about survivors of assault and other forms of student misconduct, but also about perpetrators of misconduct, Swartout said.

“As institutions move to be proactive in preventing sexual violence, it’s imperative that we go to the root of the problem: people who are engaging in violent, harassing behaviors and the norms that allow the behavior to continue,” he said.

For more about the science behind the survey and information on the ARC3 initiative, visit campusclimate.gsu.edu.

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Jeremy Craig
Georgia State University
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